How to Fight Islamist Terror from the Missionary Position by Tabish Khair

Category: Literary Fiction
Publisher (India): HarperCollins Publishers India
Publisher (UK): Constable and Robinson
Publisher (USA): Interlink Books
Rights: World Rights Available (excluding Indian subcontinent, France, UK, and US)

Funny, sad, satirical and humane, Tabish Khair’s How to Fight Islamist Terror from the Missionary Position tells the interlinked stories of three unforgettable men – the flamboyant Ravi, the fundamentalist Karim and the unnamed and pragmatic Pakistani narrator. Their trajectories cross in Aarhus, and are complicated by the Danish Prophet Mohammad Cartoon Controversy. As the unnamed narrator copes with his divorce and Ravi, despite his exterior of skeptical flamboyance, falls deeply in love with a beautiful woman who is incapable of responding in kind; Karim – their landlord – goes on with his job as a cab-driver and his regular Friday Quran Discussion sessions. But is he going on with something else? Who is Karim? Why does he disappear suddenly at times or receive mysterious phone calls? Even as Ravi’s great love wilts in the half-light of the autumn sun in Denmark, a conspiracy appears to have been hatched in front of his secular eyes: a fundamentalist attacks one of the cartoonists who had drawn the controversial caricatures of the prophet of Islam. Very soon, all three men are embroiled in doubt, suspicion and, perhaps, danger.

In his first novel set in contemporary times and Europe, Khair combines generic elements from the crime thriller, the immigrant novel, the campus novel and the young adult romance to comment deeply and movingly on our lives today. It is a gripping novel full of suspense, humour, pain, love and unforgettable characters.