Magazine article New Internationalist

Don't Panic, I'm Islamic

Magazine article New Internationalist

Don't Panic, I'm Islamic

Article excerpt

Don't Panic, I'm Islamic edited by Lynn Gaspard (SaqiBooks, ISBN 978 0 86356 999 9)

Confronted with a US president determined to stir up anti-Muslim, anti-foreigner and anti-'Other' sentiment, who spouts nationalist rhetoric and passes decrees such as the travel ban against the citizens of seven mainly Muslim countries, what can you, as a law-abiding comedian, writer or artist, do?

Well, one response - or, in fact, 34 responses - can be found in this wonderful, subversive anthology, which both questions ignorant Trump-like assumptions and provides insight into the impact that the post-9/11 'war on terror' has had on Muslim and Arab people around the world. From the perils of applying for a visa ('Do you feel yourself to be more Libyan, or more homosexual, Sir?') and filling in official forms to the crisis of self-identity triggered by the requirement to belong either to 'us' or 'them', the contributors use wit, reflection and anger to reveal the hurt, fear and sense of threat that is now commonplace in their lives. …

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