Title: Don’t Panic, I’m Islamic
Editor: Lynn Gaspard
Publisher: Saqi Books
Published: July 17th 2017
Rating: 🌟 🌟 🌟
How can you tell if your neighbour is speaking Muslim? Is a mosque a kind of hedgehog? Can I get fries with that burka? You can’t trust the media any longer, but there’s no need to fret: Don’t Panic, I’m Islamic provides you with the answers.
Read this book to learn how you too can spot an elusive Islamist. Discover how Arabs (even 21-year-old, largely innocuous and totally adorable ones) plant bombs and get tips about how to interact with Homeland Security, which may or may not involve funny discussions about your sexuality.
Commissioned in response to the US travel ban, Don’t Panic, I’m Islamic includes cartoons, graffiti, photography, colouring in pages, memoir, short stories and more by 34 contributors from around the world. Provocative and at times laugh-out-loud funny, these subversive pieces are an explosion of expression, creativity and colour.
Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review!
“MANY PEOPLE ENJOY WEARING BLACK BECAUSE IT’S SLIMMING. IT’S NOT NECESSARILY MUSLIMMIMG.”
Don’t Panic, I’m Islamic is the perfect response to the current political climate, in the wake of Islamophobia fuelled by Brexit and Trump’s election. This collection of short stories, essays, poems, photography and art is both bursting with creativity and dripping with sarcasm. Exploring more serious topics such as terrorism and sexuality, it is, overall, a much needed and light-hearted companion during times of political unrest.
Unlike other anthologies, I didn’t favour any particular pieces. For me, it was a bit too political. Prompted by Trump’s travel ban, it opens with a tweet from the man himself.
“OUR COUNTRY NEEDS STRONG BORDERS AND EXTREME VETTING, NOW. LOOK WHAT IS HAPPENING ALL OVER EUROPE AND, INDEED, THE WORLD – A HORRIBLE MESS!”
However, since this book is marketed as political humour, my dislike towards that aspect is largely due to being unfamiliar with the genre. I did really like the arrangement of pieces as well as the inclusion of a colouring page! There’s really no better form of political stress relief than the combination of reading and colouring.
I also enjoyed the spoken word poem – Postcard From A Muslim Mermaid – by Sabrina Mahfouz, who is the editor of The Things I Would Tell You: British Muslim Women Write. Overall, this is a fantastic collection of responses, celebrating diversity with 34 contributors from around the world.