Faith at War (Magill's Literary Annual 2006)
With the catastrophic attacks on the Pentagon and New York City’s Twin Towers on September 11, 2001, Americans suddenly realized that Islamic extremism was a force with enormous potential effect upon world affairs. Among the effects of this recognition was a renewed interest in the Middle East and Islam. Few Westerners, either within the educated public or the government, knew much about the Islamic faith or the countries to whose life it is central. One Westerner who does is Yaroslav Trofimov. Fluent in Arabic, he had for ten years prior to the attacks traveled the Middle East, reporting for Bloomberg News and The Wall Street Journal. After 2001, he decided to revisit various Muslim countries, to see how the terrorist attacks and their aftermath of Western responses have changed conditions in the Middle East. The resulting project is titled Faith at War. A personal, unofficial account of what Trofimov found, in form it resembles a perceptive, highly literate travelogue. Often, however, it reads like a travelogue through a nightmare landscape.
Islam has over one billion adherents worldwide. Fittingly, the book opens with a view of Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam. The richest and most influential Muslim country, the Saudis fund schools, mosques, and “reformist” religious movements across the globe. Because of the country’s importance to the Muslim world, Trofimov underwent considerable difficulty to obtain a visa. The...
(The entire section is 1564 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!
Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 2006)
Kirkus Reviews 73, no. 6 (March 15, 2005): 345.
Library Journal 130, no. 6 (April 1, 2005): 112.
The New York Times Book Review 154 (July 17, 2005): 11.
Publishers Weekly 252, no. 16 (April 18, 2005): 56.
The Washington Post Book World, May 29, 2005, p. 3.
(The entire section is 26 words.)