Undercover Muslim: A Journey into Yemen.

Padnos, Theo.

Picture of Undercover Muslim: A Journey into Yemen.
He undertook the journey that is taken by many young Muslim men who live in the West. There they are disillusioned with the 'spiritually barren consumerist societies' and travel to Yemen in search of a pure way of life, submissive wives and like-minded companions. Some find the conviction to carry out jihad. Padnos shows us 'a country magnificent in its beauty, heartbreaking in its corruption and poverty…where a terrifying gulf between Islam and the West is evident.'


SKU: 9781847920843


What happens when disaffected young men from the West come to the Middle East for an education in Islam? Until now, it has been hard to know. The schools are far away, often under the control of armed guards; the students stay in them for years, learning Arabic, memorising the Koran and other sacred texts, establishing friendships, and discovering the problems and possibilities of contemporary Islam. In this book, Theo Padnos, who previously taught short stories and poems to teenage criminals in America, puts himself through such an education. The result is a novel-like story that unfolds in places the outside world does not go. Certainly no writers have been there- the prayer row in the high altitude mosque in Yemen, the dorm room in the Islamic academy, the classrooms where the students learn and the tea shops where they daydream their afternoons away. Hilarious in places and frightening in others, Padnos tells what happens when Westerners marry themselves to this world. The book describes the pleasures and pains of this marriage and it follows the students as they try to maintain it when they come home to the suburbs of the West.

Book Details

Author Padnos, Theo.
Format PB
Publisher Vintage
Imprint The Bodley Head Ltd
Number of Pages 304
Publish Date 14/07/2011
Catalogue Mid19
Catalogue book number 113