Lesley Hazleton · 239 pages
Rating: (5K votes)
“Assassination creates an instant hero of its target. Any past sins are not just forgiven but utterly forgotten.”
“Man journeys in darkness, and his destiny journeys toward him,” he said, and traveled on.”
“If there was a single moment it all began, it was that of Muhammad's death. Even the Prophet was mortal. That was the problem. It was as though nobody had considered the possibility that he might die, not even Muhammad himself.”
“In Shia lore, Fatima lives on in another dimension to witness her sons’ suffering and to weep for them. She is the Holy Mother, whose younger son would sacrifice himself to redeem humanity just as had the son of that other great mother, Mary. Like her, Fatima is often called the Virgin as a sign of her spiritual purity. Like her, she will mourn her offspring until the Day of Judgment,”
“Arabic is a subtle and sinuous language. Like all Semitic languages, it plays on words, taking a three-consonant root and building on it to create what sometimes seems an infinite number of meanings. Even the exact same word can have different connotations, depending on the context. Perhaps the best-known example is jihad, struggle, which can be either the inner striving to live the Islamic life and attain a higher level of spiritual consciousness, or the external armed confrontation with those seen as enemies of Islam.”
“Arabia would not exert political power again for more than a thousand years, until the fundamentalist Wahhabi sect emerged from the central highlands in the eighteenth century to carry out violent raids against Shia shrines in Iraq and even against the holy places of Mecca and Medina.”
“But raw numbers can be misleading. In the Middle East heartland of Islam, the Shia are closer to fifty percent, and wherever oil reserves are richest—Iran, Iraq, and the Persian Gulf coast, including eastern Saudi Arabia—they are in the majority.”
“It was as though nobody had considered the possibility that he might die, not even Muhammad himself.”
“Right now I was standing in the cold of the night, queuing for admittance outside club Ozone – unknowingly waiting for my traumatic ordeal to begin.”
“The emptiness of our boredom met with the emptiness of these supposed signs.”
“Tears had poured from her eyes without any change in her facial expression. It’s pure pain and pure surrender when your soul cries without any fight from your body and that’s how I knew she was deeply affected.”
“I think there’s nothing left for me. I don’t think that for everyone else.”
“So what do they have that you don’t at this point?”
I press my lips together. I don’t want to talk about this anymore. I don’t want to talk about how everyone has something even if they don’t really have it anymore, that what they had makes them strong enough for this, to keep going.”
“My mother always said that if you do the right thing, the universe comes to your aid,”
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