Adapted from the story of Antigone, Home Fire is a novel about what people do to protect their family. When looking for books by women of color this month, we chose Home Fire as our book of the month because of its way of providing an in depth portrait of a family affected by terrorism.
We follow the unraveling of the Pasha family - as siblings Isma and Aneeka struggle while their brother Parvaiz sets out to fulfil their jihadist father’s legacy. This story collides with another British Muslim family - the Home Secretary and his son. The two families fight to definite what it means to be a British Muslim, while also fighting to preserve their family.
Why we loved it
The book of the month shows the experience of terrorism through the lens of each terrorism – and in this way is a very personal story. Yet the personal is not far from the political – Shamsie uses the Home Secretary and his son to show the State’s connectedness to our every day lives.
Moody Mixologist has fused ingredients from Pakistan and the UK to create a sweet, floral cocktail. Called the Karachi Rose, the drink calls to mind the last scenes of this book of the month.
For our playlist this month, we’ve chosen several Muslim artists who you may or may not have known were Muslim - including a one Zayn Malik - who we included simply because he is fine as fuck. The featured song from our playlist is ‘Love’ by Yasiin Bey - formerly known as Mos Def. We chose this song because it references God’s love and also family love -- and he finds himself questioning what he would do for his family and what his family would do for him.
This episode falls after the Supreme Court decision to uphold the travel ban on six majority Muslim countries. Despite the Supreme Court’s majority opinion, we can’t help but agree with Sonia Sotomayor’s dissent: [this policy] leaves undisturbed a policy first advertised openly and unequivocally as a ‘total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States’ because the policy now masquerades behind a façade of national-security concerns.” It does so, “by ignoring the facts, misconstruing our legal precedent, and turning a blind eye to the pain and suffering the Proclamation inflicts upon countless families and individuals, many of whom are United States citizens.”
At this point, we don’t really know where we go from here. All we can recommend is becoming an ally for your Muslim friends and trying to educate your community on the differences between the religion of Islam and terrorism. There are a few organisations to help educate you further including TrueIslam.com and The Council on American Islamic Relations.