Daily Archives: Friday, 19 December, 2008

Islamophobia and Romance, Together at Last

The things one stumbles upon while perusing the internet. I was looking for new books to read, and through some strange twist of fate that can probably never be recreated, I found this specimen:

Allah’s Fire, book one of the Task Force Valor series, written by the dynamic duo of a prodigious romance novelist and a former Ranger turned author of Christian-military novels (a genre heretofore unknown to me).

Amazon is so informative that without reading the book I can know that the term “Ansar Inshallah” appears in it, and I’ll go ahead and assume that it’s the name of a terrorist group and not a character’s name, which would be funnier.

Ansar Inshallah isn’t a roll-on-the-floor funny kind of name, just absurd. Those words don’t go together. Ansar means “adherents” or “followers,” and in this grammatical structure it means “the adherents of…” A real organization with a name like this is Ansar Islam, “The Followers of Islam.”

Inshallah, on the other hand, is not a noun, which makes the whole “name” impossible and this is what makes me laugh. Inshallah is a phrase that literally means “If God wills it,” and is used countless millions of times a day around the world to mean “hopefully…”

So Ansar Inshallah would be The Followers of ‘Hopefully,’ which would be really weird. Kind of like The Followers of ‘Fingers Crossed’ or The Followers of ‘Here’s Mud in Your Eye.’

But I digress. Here’s the blurb:

A suicide bomber blows up a hotel in Beirut, killing hundreds of people. A young American woman is kidnapped in Lebanon by terrorists. Connected or coincidence? Despite the government’s difficulty in locating her sister, Liz Fairchild, a reporter from the States, is determined to find her…regardless of the risks. Meanwhile, Sergeant John Cooper and his elite Special Ops team hunt down Palestinian extremists in possession of a new undetectable explosive that will change the “face of terror.” When Liz and Task Force Valor’s paths intersect, more is at risk than their separate missions. While maneuvering through hostile territory, Liz and John realize they need each other to survive. Their antagonism gradually gives way to cooperation—and something more.

Employing my mad analysis skillz, I deduced that the titular “Allah’s Fire” is what the terrorists call their new, devastating, secret weapon that only Task Force Valor can stop.

I am not going to be able to bring myself it to read it, though. So please don’t consider this a review, this is just a tip. A glimpse.

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Filed under arab, arabic, books, pedantry