Jihadi Jane by Tabish Khair

Category: Fiction
Publisher (Indian subcontinent): Penguin Random House India

To what lengths would you go for your religion?

High-school best friends Ameena and Jamilla couldn’t be more different: while one smokes cigarettes in their school playground, the other is a member of her local mosque in suburban Yorkshire. When heartbreak leaves Ameena bereft and alone, she turns to Jamilla’s beloved Allah for solace.

It is then that both girls find themselves entranced by a powerful Internet preacher—Hejjiye, a woman working in support of the men fighting in the name of jihad. Leaving their families and country behind, they run to join the Islamic State in Syria to serve a cause they unquestioningly believe in. But things begin to change for the worse and suddenly, the girls find themselves faced with a choice that will change their lives beyond recognition forever.

Heart-wrenching, masterful and stunningly powerful, Jihadi Jane paints a vivid picture of militant brides operating around the world and the terrifying cost of religious fanaticism.

“In his wise, nuanced evocation of a young British woman’s soul-devouring love affair with Islamic State, Tabish Khair powerfully exposes the religious hypocrisy and blood-lust of one of this era’s most magnetic and ruthless movements. This novel’s triumph – and the world’s tragedy – is that Jamilla’s haunting, searing experience does not read like a work of fiction. This is not just a writer’s nightmare: it is ours.” – Liz Jensen

“A terrifying story of terrible times.” — Gulzar

“Gripping, Compassionate and Truthful.” — Neel Mukherjee