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The Butterfly Mosque: A Young American Woman's Journey to Love and Islam Paperback – June 7, 2011
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More About the Author
She enjoys British films, cooking, and Massive Multiplayer Online video games, and holds a purple belt in kajukenbo. She lives in Seattle with her husband and two children.
Top Customer Reviews
From a student's philosophic interest in Islam to a religious awakening in the hospital while suffering from what she calls adrenal distress, to Egypt, where she accepted a teaching position for a year, to meeting Omar, her adored and adoring soon-to-be Sufi husband and his extended family--all against the backdrop of the Middle Eastern way of life in Cairo, that overcrowded, overhot, overdusty great city of the Nile.
Willow's descriptive and analytical powers are at once affectionate and insightful. The Middle Eastern way of life, with its emphasis on family and community interdependence instead of independence, its Islamic tradition of courtesy and hospitality, and its foundation of religion woven into every aspect of daily living, is something few in the secular West seem to appreciate.
Indeed, the Middle East division of the State Department as well as Western Think Tanks and Islamic Studies seminars would benefit greatly if The Butterfly Mosque were required reading.
Her candor is both refreshing and thoughtfully intelligent, and her bravery in forging a common ground, a space in which to live with her husband and within Islam the way her heart beckoned, is to glimpse what is left unsaid, but there between the lines--those that accept their calling and follow their heart are on the Divine path, no matter their religion.
If you have not yet read this wise and intimate memoir, buy a copy now, or order it online here, or check it out of your local library. Willow's is a life worth knowing.
Her observations of American and Egyptian cultures are astute, however there are moments when she risks overgeneralizing, and is particularly harsh towards other Westerners. While perhaps deserved in some instances, she seems to fall into the phenomenon of those who have joined a new group and, having recently become aware of their past insensitivities and gaffs, are eager to distance themselves from others.
I agree with other reviews that note the limited information about her 'journey to Islam'. The reasons she gives for her conversion seem somewhat superficial and leave the reader wanting more. Given its classification as a memoir, one also longs for more information about her American and Egyptian family and her relationship to them. Her sketches of family members are tender yet minimal. As written everyone seems generally happy and supportive about her conversion, marriage, and decision to live in Egypt. While this may be so, one can't help but wonder about tensions behind the scenes. Of course in a memoir it's always a delicate balance between what to keep private and what to expose.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Another silly lemming White woman thinks it's Kuuel to willingly join a community of misogynists.Published 1 month ago by Nick
I was really looking forward to reading about an American becoming a Muslim but was very disappointed. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Geene
This book is awesome! It is so beautifully written. I was born Catholic and then became agnostic, then spiritual with no religion... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Kate