‘Moslems are Coming’ a smart, sassy, funny read

Tanya Ghosh for CNN-IBN Live - 

Smart, sassy and funny, ‘The Moslems are Coming’, is a well written book which emerged from Essa’s award-winning blog on Thought Leader. An insightful take on global politics, he tackles race and religion, bigotry from anti-Semitism to opposition to blacks, gives a fresh perspective on the Israel-Palestine conflict and casts new light on old stereotypes. He also presents the existing views about a particular issue which is talked about in the chapter, in the postscript. The title itself gives an idea as to what’s to come inside. His voice is engaging both questioning and is a delight to read.

An accidental academic and an incidental journalist, he belongs to a generation with none of the old identities or fractured loyalties and tackles stereotypes with elan. The anecdotes from his own life from encountering racism in Turkey to his visit to JNU are presented in both an intuitive and hilarious manner with healthy doses of his own opinion on various matters from the book- ‘Tales from one thousand and one Nights’ to Indo-Pak conflicts.

I particularly enjoyed the chapter ‘Muslim fashion du jour’ ,a satirical piece, which talks about abolishing the burqa in France and Belgium…”the biggest movement since the French Revolution” according to fashion insiders. It contains comical quotes which indirectly ridicule the hype behind the ban of burqa from ending political aspirations to astronomical changes in the job market to promoting the idea of being a sex symbol. Essa’s words are profound especially when it comes to racial profiling which he witnesses at the Dubai’s International Airport to the concept of Islamophobia.

From the liberation of Tibet to regressive politics, the book addresses various ideas which remain prevalent in this century. At the same time, he paints himself as a cartoon in a world of contradictions who has seen India better and Pakistan than many and has a satirical opinion of the conflict – and a solution. Essa describes Kashmiri aspirations as being “stuck between Western diplomacy and Indian ascendancy”. Kashmir is described as a “blind spot” for India’s liberal elite who continue to downsize the number of missing persons reported every year. His poignant view of the changes in India have been beautifully written.

Sharp and witty, this is a book through which the reader travels the world with the author while having a bird’s eye view on world politics. Thoroughly enjoyable, this book is not only a must-read but is an essential element on the reader’s rack.

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