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Recent Publications: My Name is Mohammad
Monday, 01.04.2010, 09:13pm (GMT+1)

Recent Publications:

My Name is Mohammad

By Mohammad Gul Mohabbat

Eloquent Books/New York/2009

Bruce G. Richardson


This story is as old as time itself, a story of which many, many thousands of Afghans of the Diaspora can relate. This is a story of unmitigated loss, state-sponsored terrorism, economic and familial dislocation. This is a story of a people at war.

Often, in various media circles, we are advised of a book that is a “must read.”  My Name is Mohammad is just such a book.  With a plethora of newly-released titles on Afghanistan surfacing from-time-to-time, what makes this book so special, so relevant, so topical, is that it is a very human story, a story forged in the crucible of war, and which therefore addresses a transformative, informational gap and subsequent ignorance that has impacted foreign policy decisions.  Since the cessation of hostilities in World War II, there looms a serious disconnect among the American people as to the reality of war for those on the receiving end of U.S. military might, this book addresses that disconnect.

If America is to become a better steward of democratization around the world, especially following our misadventures in Iraq and Afghanistan, we must first wake up to our long history of imperialist corruptions that have plagued our own history.  Both our failure to foster peace in the Israel/Palestine conflict, our illegal invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, and the crisis of Islamist hatred of America, have  and continue to be inflamed by hypocrisies extant in our dealings with the world. Racism and imperial bungling have gone hand-in-hand in our country’s inexorable drive toward world dominance, and our current militaristic excesses in Iraq and Afghanistan are but recent examples and expression of that drive.

To understand therefore, the impact said militarism has on distant peoples, it is incumbent upon Americans to educate themselves as to the currency of stated justifications for waging war. We now know of the misinformation, disinformation and propaganda presented to the American people as a marketing tool to sell the war.  We have been held hostage to fear, to the portraying of distant peoples as somehow inhuman and therefore worthy of destruction. We are told that “we must fight them over there or fight them here at home”, we are told that “they resent our way of life” and that is why they attack us. The killing of innocents, are rendered as “collateral damage”, not of flesh and blood and therefore somehow undeserving of mourning. We are told that their religion, “Islam advocates violence.”

It is this war against bigotry, ignorance, justice, and intellectual honesty that new publications such as My Name is Mohammad become critically and topically important.  The author, Mohammad Gul Mohabbat, reveals himself as a keen observer of dazzling erudition, whose critiques are inevitably balanced by an infectious optimism and magnanimity of spirit.

Readers will come to see the true nature of the Afghan people, their legendary hospitality, their devotion to family, and their indomitable spirit.  They will come to understand, the what and why of resistance commonly known as Taliban. That the Afghan people harbor no extra-territorial ambitions:

 Nor do they harbor Pan-Islamic ambition; and that Afghanistan has not, and would not ever pose a serious threat to the security of the United States or its [stated] interests; That, as did Americans during British occupation, and as demonstrated by freedom loving peoples since time immemorial, Afghans oppose foreign occupation of their homeland, just as history shows they have done for centuries.  They will therefore come also to understand that the Afghan people wish for peace and security above all, that they wish only to educate, nourish and protect their children, in short, they are just like us.

Our informational odyssey will follow and admire the author as a brilliant foreign exchange student in America, and as he relates the often humorous assimilation of a young Afghan boy experiencing cultural shock in a strange land, we will relive the terror of a young man experiencing war close up and personal, the gut-wrenching nighttime raids, torture and beatings by the secret police, the loss of loved ones, false accusations of spying for America and threats of incarceration and or death. We will come to know the author as an articulate voice for women’s rights in Afghanistan and around the world and we will come to admire his unconditional devotion to his immediate and extended family as he seeks to extract himself and his family from the clutches of an oppressive communist regime and the dislocation that followed as a result of the Soviet invasion. 

Mohammad Gul Mohabbat often expresses his admiration of America and those who bestowed kindness upon a frightened boy in a strange land.  He is, however transformed into a literary pugilist when the discussion turns to those Afghans who when vying for control, killed thousands of their brothers and sisters during the post-Soviet era, and again when America invaded, allied themselves once again with a destructive foreign element.  The book concludes with his heart rendering and difficult journey to America, and his unfaltering courage and utter devotion while assisting his immediate and extended family in pursuit of the American dream.   

The author’s thinking consistently challenges the conventional wisdom and confronts the reader with profound and unsettling insights.  His portrait gallery of failure, detailing our inadequate party duopoly, corporate excess, and limp courtier journalism, as well as Washington’s imperial arrogance and bungling in Afghanistan.  But of equal import for the readership is his realistic portrait of the Afghan people as proud, family-oriented, peace-loving, and having more in common with Americans than oft-stated differences.  His narrative is eloquent, his powers of observation keen, his knowledge of history impeccable, his humanity profound. My Name is Mohammad  is truly an inspirational and intellectual journey.

My Name is Mohammad will serve to bridge the informational gap that exists between so-called media experts, stereotypical representations from Armageddon theorists, Evangelical Christians, premeditated government disinformation, and the reality of his beloved nation that has fallen victim to sectarian and economic imperialism.

This highly recommended work is available through Amazon.com and area booksellers nationwide.

Bruce G. Richardson








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Other Articles:
. New Book: ‘My Name is Mohammad’ by: Mohammad G. Mohabbat (07.11.2009)
. New Book: AFGHAN WOMEN Under the Shadow of Terror and Politics by Alia R. Akbar (07.02.2009)
. Afghanistan: A Search For Truth by Bruce G. Richardson, 2008 (05.02.2009)
. About this translation of Rahman Baba (19.11.2008)

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