I wrote a novel.
The title of the novel is: Osama’s Jihad.
Take few seconds to process the thought.
The novel takes place in New York City.
Take another minute or so to process that too.
The main character Osama is Muslim, but I am sure you guessed that already. You are a smart one, aren’t you? However, I am sorry to disappoint you, not every Osama is Muslim. There are some Christians in the Arab world with that God awful name.
Would you like another minute? Go ahead, take another one while I say goodbye to my patriotic and Islamophobic friends or as I prefer to call them, anti-Semitic. Yes Arabs are Semites, I bet you didn’t know that.
Now that we are past the name and the religion, I have to tell you one more thing—Osama struggles with his sexual identity throughout the novel.
I will give you another minute or so if you are a liberal and I will say goodbye to my homophobic Muslim friends who lost interest once they read the last line.
Now that I lost the majority of those who stopped by, I can discuss few things with the brave few who stuck around.
Most of us preach the ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ speech to our friends, family, etc. and that is why I picked the name. I wanted to test the theory; I wanted to spread that message through the book and I decided to start with the title. Plus, if I was going to push the limits within my own Muslim community by discussing homosexuality and transgenderism, I had to push the limits of my American half as well. I had to be fair.
I could have picked any other name for the novel and make it more vanilla. It could have been a ‘A Magical Carpet Ride’ or something flowery that can lure the non-Muslim readers. However, if that was the case, then I shouldn’t have written about a homosexual character in the first place to cater to my Muslim brothers and sisters as well.
This book aims to break walls and barriers within a family, a community. It aims to bridge gaps between different generation, different worlds, different religions and different anything and everything. You will laugh; you will cry; you will fall in love; you will hate me, but then you will love me again.
I have a vision; I have a dream and I dare to chase it. Care to chase it with me?