AMONG THE BELIEVERS VS NAIPAUL PDF

To my surprise I found myself relatively indifferent. Among other things he is a direct witness to the immediate aftermath of the Iranian Revolution and the so-called Islamic awakening that was birthed in part from that event. Naipaul brings his familiar perspective to all the places he visits: that of the Anglophile and Brahmin. He sees the move away from the "universal civilization" of the West as an obvious folly, though one that itself is partly influenced by the Western Romantic tradition. I found some of his observations to be prescient and some to be shallow, particularly his reflexive belief that non-Arab Muslims are in fact living out a false consciousness that has been alienated in them by Arab imperialism. The political origins of this latter belief became evident later in his life when Naipaul revealed himself as a supporter of Hindutva ideology.

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In these travels Naipaul talks to a cross section of the society: people from drivers, students, guides, government officials to people of power like Ayatollah Khalkhali and Anwar Ibrahim during his student politics days. Naipaul then synthesizes his experiences into a commentary on the history of the people, their faith, the impact of their faith on their way of life.

This review is divided into three parts. Naipaul comes across as a man with a sharp sense of observation and intellect and a sharper tongue. His analysis of the role of Islam in the countries he visits is brutal and honest. For example, in Iran, what started off as a revolution triggered by the injustices of the Shah, quickly took on an Islamic fervor. Naipaul is pessimistic about the ability of this fervor to carry the civilization forward. Money, development, education have awakened them only to the knowledge that the world is not like their village, that the world is not their own.

Their rage—the rage of pastoral people with limited skills, limited money, and a limited grasp of the world—is comprehensive. Now they have a weapon: Islam. It is their way of getting even with the world. It serves their grief, their feeling of inadequacy, their social rage and racial hate. This Islam is more than the old religion of their village. The Islam the missionaries bring is a religion of impending change and triumph; it comes as part of a world movement.

In Readings in Islam, a local missionary magazine, it can be read that the West, in the eyes even of its philosophers, is eating itself up with its materialism and greed. The true believer, with his thoughts on the afterlife, lives for higher ideals. For a nonbeliever, with no faith in the afterlife, life is a round of pleasure. He also comments on the use of Islam by the Malays as a tool to look down upon the Chinese—who through their hard work and entrepreneurial skills outstrip the Malays in education and business.

Malays perceive the Chinese to be unclean, due to their animist beliefs and pork eating. The very acts of suppression and brutality for which the Shah was despised are now justified in the name of Islam. Malays, in their search for equality, have built a framework of race-based discrimination rooted in Islam. Pakistan, in its search for identity and a paradise for Muslims was under military rule with mobs attacking newspapers, jailed journalists and the brutal massacre of the Balochs.

This late-twentieth-century Islam appeared to raise political issues. But it had the flaw of its origins—the flaw that ran right through Islamic history: to the political issues it raised it offered no political or practical solution. It offered only the faith. It offered only the Prophet, who would settle everything—but who had ceased to exist.

This political Islam was rage, anarchy. Because: The Islamic fundamentalist wish is to work back to such a whole, for them a God-given whole, but with the tool of faith alone—belief, religious practices and rituals. It is like a wish—with intellect suppressed or limited, the historical sense falsified—to work back from the abstract to the concrete, and to set up the tribal walls again. It is to seek to re-create something like a tribal or a city-state that—except in theological fantasy—never was.

The Koran is not the statute book of a settled golden age; it is the mystical or oracular record of an extended upheaval, widening out from the Prophet to his tribe to Arabia. Share this:.

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AMONG THE BELIEVERS

In these travels Naipaul talks to a cross section of the society: people from drivers, students, guides, government officials to people of power like Ayatollah Khalkhali and Anwar Ibrahim during his student politics days. Naipaul then synthesizes his experiences into a commentary on the history of the people, their faith, the impact of their faith on their way of life. This review is divided into three parts. Naipaul comes across as a man with a sharp sense of observation and intellect and a sharper tongue. His analysis of the role of Islam in the countries he visits is brutal and honest. For example, in Iran, what started off as a revolution triggered by the injustices of the Shah, quickly took on an Islamic fervor. Naipaul is pessimistic about the ability of this fervor to carry the civilization forward.

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V.S. Naipaul

Purpose[ edit ] The proposed aim of the author was to study cultures which have a long pre-Islamic history and their modern attempts to establish a religious state. Naipaul does not include Arab countries as he is interested in "converted peoples". Travels[ edit ] Iran: he went to Iran just after the revolution and could listen to all the mixed voices, guided around the holy places like Qom by a communist, Behzad. Ayatollah Sadegh Khalkhali is interviewed. Pakistan: His earlier book An Area of Darkness was banned in India, and here he gives a controversial portrait of Pakistan.

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Among the Believers : An Islamic Journey

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