Upgrade to the Flash 9 viewer for enhanced content, including the ability to browse & search through your favorite titles.
Click here to learn more!
A New York Times Notable Book of the Year
Beyond Belief is a book about one of the more important and unsettling issues of our time: the effects of the Islamic conversion of Indonesia, Iran, Pakistan, and Malaysia. What has Islam done to the histories of these converted countries? How do the converted peoples, non-Arabs, view their past--and their future? In a follow-up to Among the Believers, his classic account of his travels through these countries, V. S. Naipaul returns after seventeen years to find out how and what the converted preach.
In Indonesia he finds a pastoral people who have lost their history through a confluence of Islam and technology. In Iran he discovers a religious tyranny as oppressive as the secular one of the Shah, and he meets people weary of the religious rules that govern every aspect of their lives. Pakistan--in a tragic realization of a Muslim re-creation fantasy--inherited blood feuds, rotting palaces, antique cruelty; then President Zia installed religious terror with $100 million of Saudi money. In Malaysia, the Muslim Youth organization is alive and growing, and the people are mentally, physically, and geographically torn between two worlds, struggling to live the impossible dream of a true faith born out of a spiritual vacancy. A revelatory addition to the Naipaul canon, Beyond Belief confirms the author's reputation as a masterly observer, a "finder-out" of stories, as well as a magnificent teller of them.
Praise for Beyond Belief:
"The distinctive human voices he captures and the sense he creates of obscure but unforgettable individuals struggling with incomprehensible forces make Beyond Belief...a compelling book."
--The Wall Street Journal