Lessons from the Holy Wars: A Pakistani-American Odyssey

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9781604943696: Lessons from the Holy Wars: A Pakistani-American Odyssey

An immigrant's son shuns his heritage and his homeland, only to see them come to dominate headlines in a manner that forces him to come to a deeper understanding of himself and his world. This notable collection of personal stories and cultural insights illuminates anew the grand American immigrant experience. Just as notably, Lessons from the Holy Wars is invaluable for anyone seeking insight into the encounter-or collision-of Islam and the West. Filled with wonder and wit, it offers a revealing perspective on the events of our day.

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From the Publisher:

Rob Asghar, a Fellow at the University of Southern California's Center on Public Diplomacy, has been published in more than 30 news outlets around the world, including the Huffington Post, Wall Street Journal and Japan Times.

Asghar learned his lessons the hard way. He experienced conservative Muslim guilt by drinking and watching Three's Company. He experienced conservative Christian guilt by giving less than 10% of his income to his church and continuing to watch Three's Company. He attempted to flee Pakistan as a child due to the smell. He remains bitter about losing a rigged class election to the snobby daughter of Pakistani nuclear mastermind AQ Khan. He overspends as a foolish, ongoing rebellion against his immigrant parents' prudent, Shake-n-Bake-eating ways. He survived historic anti-American attacks during his years in Pakistan. His late father called him "the second-worst man alive" for drifting from Islam, and angry evangelicals called him a closet jihadist for later drifting from them. He spent a lifetime attempting to please others and to make peace among people and cultures -- only to find that happiness comes from letting people down and allowing them to scuffle, within good reason!

A few political & personal lessons from the holy wars:
* US foreign policy has been warped by American evangelicals' misunderstandings of their own New Testament teachings.
* Religion doesn't kill people: Culture & Mother Nature kill people.
* To succeed in life, you gotta learn to be a disappointment.
* It's not about Af-Pak, it's about In-Pak--Pakistan's relationship with India is what should matter to Washington.
* Want peace? You need to master the art of "managing devils."

From the Author:

"A book that makes you laugh and think at the same time."
-- Dan Cray, contributor, TIME magazine

"Asghar's immigrant family story is illuminating and encouraging - a hopeful sign that as each of us moves along our respective voyages of self-discovery and self-expression, even the most seemingly painful conflicts of identity and security can be overcome."
-- From the foreword by Warren Bennis, bestselling leadership author

"Drawing from his unique background, Asghar frames pressing issues through both personal and scholarly lenses--and in doing so, he has emerged as a unique and profound voice among commentators on South Asia and the Muslim world."
-- Varun Soni, dean of religious life, University of Southern California

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