Several weeks ago, my friend and kindred spirit Qasim Rashid sent me a digital copy of his highly anticipated book The Wrong Kind of Muslim: An Untold Story of Persecution and Perseverance. I started reading it one early morning in my flat in Dublin, Ireland, thinking I would read a few chapters and maybe wrap up the entire book in a few weeks. However, 24 hours after I started reading the book, I was finished with it.The Wrong Kind of Muslim is one of those kind of books.
The Wrong Kind of Muslim is the true story of Rashid’s experiences as an Ahmadi, a minority group of Muslims referred to in Pakistan as wajib ul qatl, or “worthy of death.” The book takes you on a riveting personal journey in which Rashid compiles shockingly true stories of terror and compassion. Over several years, Rashid traveled tens of thousands of miles and spent countless hours meeting with Ahmadis from all over the world.
On his journey, Rashid “visited bloodsplattered mosques, touched scars left by gunfire, grenades, and shrapnel, and prayed for the departed at their final resting places.” Rashid “held a mother’s hand as she wept for her son and husband” and “trembled as a son related the intimate account of his father’s cold-blooded execution before his eyes.” On several occasions during his journey, he sat speechless as members of his own family related what they were certain were their final moments on Earth. As you can imagine, I also found myself speechless. It is a powerful journey.