The Infidels of Mecca by Abbas Zaidi

Category: Fiction
Publisher: Rupa Publications
Rights: World rights available (excluding Indian subcontinent)

‘Do you think a revolution can take place in our religious society where human rights are contingent upon unconditional obedience to God? If you don’t obey Him, you are just an infidel!’

27 December 2007, Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Benazir Bhutto is about to address a political rally. Pakistan is torn between messianic fanatics and idealistic reformers. An old-school Sufi-activist, Professor Umer, is up against Colonel Burq, a hard-line radical who wants to prevent Benazir from coming to power. Caught in this charged atmosphere is Dara Shikoh, the young, epileptic son of Colonel Burq and a pupil of Professor Umer. A troubled man who cannot get over his mother’s death, all Dara Shikoh wants is to live with the love of his life, Laleen.

But can love be insulated from the radicalism of religion and politics that rages all around? Is it possible to stay cocooned away and unsinged? When a shot fells Benazir, Dara’s life unhinges in a manner unforseen as chaos grips the nation.

Set in the backdrop of Benazir Bhutto’s assassination, Abbas Zaidi’s The Infidels of Mecca dissects the tumultuous times that shook Pakistan’s social and political fibre, weaving an intense story of love and hate.

The author: Abbas Zaidi