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The Faithful Scribe The author presents the history of Pakistan as it parallels the history of his family The title and opening paragraphs imply that there will be a full sweep, but most if it relates to Pakistan established 1947 as a nation There is some content on the British colonial era, a bit on the partition and less on earlier times.Rather than a chronology, the author presents content both personal and national as he learns about it He starts by describing his earliest consciousness of history through his awareness of his parents views on things It follows with the events that parallel his own life, sometimes going backwards to a past event just learned or explained for instance the description of the building of Islamabad comes as he visits it, not as it is build The book ends with a visit to a rural family homestead where Mufti writes about past and present agricultural policies.There are interesting glimpses of the different administrations, the change from colonialism to partition, to the independence of Bangladesh and Most of what was presented was interesting, but each episode was breezy and not fully connected to the others.The author sees Pakistan as a unique experiment It is a new country, the only democracy with Islam at its center, and the only Islamic country with a nuclear weapon The book is relatively free of interpretation It could be that the author s being 100% American and 100% Pakistan has him walking a fine line.The book was a fast read and provoked my interest in some of the issues presented. The Faithful Scribe is a story of Islam, Pakistan, family and war, the cultural and religious roots of modern Pakistan Shahan Mufti gives a complete history of the complicated country of Pakistan He delves into how continued political and historical strife continues to plague the mesh of Islam and the West Mufti notes the first Islamic Democracy has been subjected by periods of military rule, political instability and ongoing conflicts with neighboring India Pakistan continues to deal with issues such as terrorism, poverty, illiteracy and corruption Mufti is hopeful of Pakistan s future Mufti traces his geology and how his family fits into Islam and Pakistan He discovers his family dates back a thousand years to the inner circle of the prophet Muhammed He shares how his own family has been impacted by Pakistan s past, present and remain hopful for a positive future for this beloved country Mufti does a wonderful job incorporating his personal family history with the history of Pakistan Great for history buffs and or those interested in Middle East South Asian history issues Mufti s family tree discovery inspires the reader to trace their ancestral originsARC copy of this book provided by Other Press Publishing Finished this book this weekend in Rye, NH If I could recommend one book about family roots, Islam and an easy to read history about Pakistan, this is the one I enjoyed reading Shahan Mufti s The Faithful Scribe Mufti is an American, born in Ohio, and his family is from Lahore, Pakistan His father taught at an Ohio college and Shahan went to Ohio public schools Shahan s family relocates to Pakistan and so Mufti is in a new place and learns on the fly everything about his parents homeland In the book, Mufti retraces the history of Pakistan He covers how and when it became the first Islamic democracy, all the way to the 2010 floods that devastated the nation Shahan is a journalist and puts his expertise to work He teaches the subject at the University of Richmond and what makes it a good read for beginners is his simple sentence structure what journalists are essentially taught how to write There is also no nuance, which can sometimes make it confusing for readers He takes the history of Pakistan, weaves it into his family s story, talks about how it impacted his family and how it shaped his life today Shahan also ties in Islam, what Islam is and is not about, and its significance in Pakistan With Shahan s story, you develop a deep appreciation for the religion Lastly, what makes this an intriguing read is the fact he traces his family of origin to major figures in South Asian history On his mother s side, we learn that his roots go all the way back to Qazi Buddhan, the Grand Old Qazi, or ruler, and how he was a respected figure in Pakistan history More importantly, he also finds out his family roots go all the way back to the prophet Muhammad Mufti makes this discovery while on a trip to Pakistan Mufti is given an old parchment detailing his family tree It comes with a heart warming message that stood out in this book The scribe in the parchment wrote If it is the everlasting garden of refuge you desire, Always and forever remember the greatness of religion If it is a success and recognition in the world you want, Morning and night recite the greatness of ancestors I thought what a great message to send to future generations of the family It was touching to see that be written to those who may not ever meet them, but that the person in the past calls out to them The Faithful Scribe is Musafir Azizuddin He was the one who recorded their lineage and he did a lot of work on the family It was commendable A book like this shows how important our ancestors are and how we are all connected to one another It s certainly gotten me interested in my own family and where we came from I found out that my grandfather s ancestors on my mom s side are from Rouen, France and my grandmother s side are from La Rochelle, France On my dad s side, everyone he remembers is from Quebec So I m 100 percent French Canadian Mufti spoke at this year s New Voices, a book festival put on by Misty Valley Books in Chester, Vt He and several others were part of an up and coming writers group, writers with much promise Some famous names that attended in the past were Dennis Lehane, Colum McCann, Alex Berenson and Dr Eben Alexander among others Perhaps Mufti will be among the best of the best The Faithful Scribe is a great premier book by Shahan Mufti. The book kept me glued to the pages, which was pretty commendable as the gist of the story was known to me and to every Pakistani The Pakistani family as an institution has grown from strength to strength as the government writ has weakened I guess the when any government grows weaker, other players will fill the vacuum created The feudals together with the British laid the foundation of the state of Pakistan in 1947, hoping to keep the arrangement ticking with the new government of Pakistan But the plight of the ordinary working class and the improvised was not addressed in this feudal based model which naturally failed to deliver This major fault line is now abundantly clear with the rise of the new Islamic militias fighting the feudal government nexus across the country These militias are challenging the prevalent order and want to establish a system of adal Islamic socialist system The only issue is that even their vision of adal has no recent precedence and heavily relies on blind adherence to at least thousand year old era of mythical Islamic system which is impossible to realise in my opinion Which is precisely why I have little faith in the emerging political movements like Pakistan Tehreek Insaaf PTI to deliver, because I have yet to see any proper guidelines to how such a system can actually work apart from the mere sloganeering efforts of their cherished and glamorous leader Imran Khan In the absence of a set plan, enforcing writ by fear becomes the only method remaining for any new Islamic power emerging in the political vacuum This fear is a tactical solution rather than a strategic longer term solution of empowering the lower classes.Currently, I don t see any political movement in Pakistan which can effectively address the plight and frustrations of the growing poor. Born in Ohio, but raised largely in Lahore, Pakistan, Mufti frames this memoir as a response to a question his wife asked Why is Pakistan such a mess His talent for explaining the political through the personal particularly the tormented embrace between his two home countries benefits from the uncanny convergence of his family s milestones with Pakistan s his parents married the day after India joined the 1971 war that bisected Pakistan a cousin died in the 1988 plane crash that killed President Zia In 2007, Mufti moved from New York to Islamabad to work as a foreign correspondent, and encountered a new era of violence that he describes as an auto immune disorder a devastating battle between the ideals of Islam and of Western democracy that the constitution of Pakistan aspires to reconcile From The New Yorker Magazine Shahan Mufti has spent his life walking the line between two vastly different countries the United States and Pakistan Raised in Ohio by his parents who came to the US soon after their marriage, Mufti and his family return to Pakistan in his adolescence, the first in a series of moves between the two nations When Mufti s work brings him to Pakistan to cover news of the Afghanistan War, he discovers documents from his ancestors that encourage him to dig into his family s past He finds both an amazing family story and the understanding that his two homes have much in common than many realize Both a personal and political memoir, The Faithful Scribe brilliantly blends the history of one family with the history of a nation as a whole As he traces his family s past, Mufti writes with deep insight into the relationship between the two countries during the Reagan, Bush and Obama eras without ever feeling overly dogmatic He is able to point out specific parallels between Pakistan and the United States that could have fallen flat in a strictly historical text, making The Faithful Scribe a readable, fascinating peek into the hidden connections binding the countries from around the globe See at I wanted to like it but I got thrown off when he states there is such a thing as good violence along with bad violence He never went on to explain what this good violence is and how it is classified separately from bad violence. Mufti is a talented and faithful scribe The title suggests the multiple perspectives, each covered with great insight and meaning As a result I better appreciate the complexities that are contemporary Pakistan, and the emphasis placed on family and heritage At the end of this hard to put down read Mufti acknowledges the many global conflicts ongoing when his parents and his wife s parents were born He concludes with the wish that his future children will look back at their parents time as the beginning of a world of peace Sadly that isn t yet the case but we all could benefit from his hopefulness.I look forward to from this thoughtful, talented writer. A Journalist Explores His Family S History To Reveal The Hybrid Cultural And Political Landscape Of Pakistan, The World S First Islamic Democracy Shahan Mufti S Family History, Which He Can Trace Back Fourteen Hundred Years To The Inner Circle Of The Prophet Muhammad, Offers An Enlightened Perspective On The Mystifying History Of Pakistan Mufti Uses The Stories Of His Ancestors, Many Of Whom Served As Judges And Jurists In Muslim Sharia Courts Of South Asia For Many Centuries, To Reveal The Deepest Roots Real And Imagined Of Islamic Civilization In Pakistan More Than A Personal History, The Faithful Scribe Captures The Larger Story Of The World S First Islamic Democracy, And Explains How The State That Once Promised To Bridge Islam And The West Is Now Threatening To Crumble Under Historical And Political Pressure, And Why Pakistan S Destiny Matters To Us All I understand the United State s fraught relationship with Pakistan much after reading this book, as well as the difficult relationship between Pakistan and India This is a family memoir mixed with history told by a Pakistani American journalist who covers Pakistani affairs Mostly covers post partition history, with a little bit of older stuff thrown in.

About the Author: Shahan Mufti

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