Stranger to History. A Son’s Journey through Islamic Lands. Aatish Taseer. Stranger to History. download cover image. “Stranger to History is a. I met Aatish Taseer. in New York last year, at the prize-giving ceremony of the National Book Awards of the USA. (my wife’s book, The Convert. Stranger to History – A Son’s Journey through Islamic Lands by Aatish Taseer – ebook () published by Canongate 19 March The story of a .

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Yo atish Taseer grew up in secular, pluralist India. Also interesting was the persistence of seemingly out of place Hindu caste prejudices among the Muslim elites that he met, as well as a cultural bias against Israel, America and the West, all of which acted as talismans for the proclamation of Muslim identity. Retrieved from ” http: Syrians certainly know how to avoid political taboos, but Taseer’s assertion that they only talk politics in the privacy of their cars couldn’t be further from the truth.

Aatish Taseer, no schlub, Prufrockian or otherwise, in his memoir, Stranger to History: They watch the news coverage together, mostly in silence. And also watch out for his newer books.

There are no discussion topics on this book yet. My voice holds them at bay. How different are the words home, Christ, ale, master, on his lips and on mine!

In Iran he falls into the underground party scene and runs into a group of closeted Hari Krishnas in Tehran.

It should have been an rewarding experience for stranged, but he does not manage to convey the full import of what the journey meant for him to the reader. In Pakistan, he sees the great, inclusive culture of the northern subcontinent being strangled, being made into something so hollow and regressive that his despair becomes almost tangible: He begins hisgory travel from Turkey and travels through Syria, Iran, and multiple other countries before ending up at this father’s place in Pakistan.

The writer takes you on a real journey through the Islamic Lands. Most of the terrorists today are religious. An interesting excursion into Islamic territories from Turkey through Syria, Saudi, Iran and Pakistan as one man searches for what it means to be Muslim. In Teheran Aatish meets a disparate crowd of party-goers, film-makers, former revolutionaries and members of the Hare Krishna movement.


In Iran, where the nation-state imposes a literal Islam, he sees a people at odds with the history being fed to them. His eight-month journey through strongholds of the Islamic world — with only his British passport to defend him – and he dispassionately interviews locals as he goes — begins in Turkey, where politics and faith are purposely, sometimes heedlessly, insensibly divorced, proceeds through Syria, Saudi Arabia and Iran, where politics and religion are one, and ends at ailing Pakistan — when he crosses on foot — demonstrating an admirable lack of prudence.


In Iran, the government insisted on strict Islamic code of conduct in public, but the people were more or less secular in private. Jan 18, Sonia Date rated it really liked it. Jan 17, Karnail Singh rated it it was amazing. I had learnt from my experience with my father that the term meant more than just a lax approach to religion: This book was quite an undertaking strnger a atidh journalist struggling to reconcile his identity and heritage.

This was being subdued by a puritanical zeal with the aim of returning to the days of the early Arabs rather than the faith.

STRANGER TO HISTORY by Aatish Taseer | Kirkus Reviews

People with inadequate command over English in general, and unanglicized Indians in particular, are treated as human beings both in Amherst and in New York, a dignity that not many people are histoyr to accord to them in Delhi.

So Taseer heads to Leeds and Bradford to talk to local Pakistanis, local Muslims, to find out what it was all about. In the second part, in Iran, the writer encounters a kind-of secular rebellion complete with Hare Krishnas, God help us against a state that seeks to impose its own version of Islam on the people. Aatish stranber instances where the police themselves turn dacoits during their off-duty hours.

Stranger to History

This decoding of contemporary Muslim identity and histoory by virtue of travel and interviews strajger key Muslim nations Turkey, Syria, Saudi Arabia Iran, Pakistan and other undocumented detours into Jordan and Yemenwould in his tentative plan, help him bridge the gulf of empathy for a father who is a warden and defender of an Islamic republic for decades.


But the journey to reason must go on. For the faith to remain in power in a complex [modern] society, it had to beat down the bright and rebellious members of that society with its simplicities. But though the mosques were empty in Tehran, though I hardly ever heard the call to prayer, never saw a woman fully veiled or a man with a beard, unless he was a government man, the revolution had not been kind: Naipal on the cover and my interest in the events leading to Partition and the aftermath.

But, and this is an important but, the south has its own shared history tasefr landscape.

That is the true religion. Stranger to History is a remarkable book — touching, brave, honest, elegantly written and filled with political and historical insight.

Preview — Stranger to History by Aatish Taseer. It was no big deal. As a fugitive from the fascist stranglehold of Anglicized Indians into the safe and alien remove here in the US, I have always wondered what happens to what the Anglicized Indians for a spirit when they write Strangwr words, and what happens to what the Anglicized Indians have for a soul in the shadow of English language.

Perhaps you would care to shed some light on the matter. It really is that simple. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. He presents a one-dimensional picture of his transit lands, sometimes verging on the paranoid. He decides to visit his father, but to take the long way round.

When Atish finally meets him, he proves to be everything that he expects — charming, impressive, brilliant, larger-than-life. The regime made secularism compulsory atisg all public transactions in Turkey, but the people were often deeply religious in private.