If you’re interested in the state of Muslim-non-Muslim relations, you have a jam-packed weekend ahead of you. On Sunday, as we've noted before, the Washington-based nonprofit Council on American-Islamic Relations holds a panel discussion on Islamophobia at the Crowne Plaza Park Central. If you need "a better understanding of the negative impact anti-Muslim bigotry has on American society," well, it's the place for you.
And on Saturday at 2 p.m., author and human rights activist Susan Abulhawa will give a reading at the Bookworm, 3245 Main Street in Frisco. The title of her most recent work -- just a little something called The Scar of David. Controversial? Nah. C'mon -- this is why people move to Frisco in the first place. It's just like the East Village.
Publisher’s Weekly describes Abulhawa's first novel as "an earnest but heavy-handed depiction of the 20th century through Palestinian eyes," one that shows Palestinians wanting "'only to live on their land as they always had,' while the Israelis are murderers and baby-snatchers who use the Holocaust to justify their actions. Equal parts clumsy history lesson and melodrama, this book does little to shed light on one of the world's most complex conflicts."
A review in Library Journal says just the opposite: "Every now and again a literary work changes the way people think," it begins. "While some readers might see this novel as anti-Semitic, it is not… Abulhawa’s compassion for American victims of 9/11 and for those who suffered in the Holocaust illuminates what it means to be humane and spiritually generous. The Pennsylvania-based Abulhawa, herself Palestinian, has crafted an intensely beautiful fictionalized history that should be read by both politicians and those interested in contemporary politics."
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Want to find out for yourself? Go to the Bookworm on Saturday and pick it up. And if you can’t make it that day, we’re betting Abulhawa will be at the Islamophobia conference on Sunday. And if she isn't, maybe we will. --Megan Feldman