Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Twelfth Iman

The Twelfth Imam 
Tensions are rising in the Middle East. Iran’s president vows to annihilate the United States and Israel. Israel’s prime minister says someone must hit Iran’s nuclear sites “before it’s too late.” The American president warns against a preemptive strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities and says negotiations are the key to finding peace.

And amid it all, rumors are swirling throughout the region of a mysterious religious cleric claiming to be the Islamic messiah known as the Mahdi or the Twelfth Imam. Word of his miracles, healings, signs, and wonders is spreading like wildfire.

CIA operative David Shirazi was born for this moment. He is recruited and sent into Tehran with one objective: use all means necessary to disrupt Iran’s nuclear weapons program, without leaving American fingerprints and without triggering an apocalyptic new war.

But time is running out.

My take:  This is a fast paced book full of new concepts for me.  I also found it incredibly serendipitous that I read this book and finished it on September 11th.

The book opens with Charlie Harper in the middle of Iran as a new leader is "appointed."  The Shah is safely in the United States and violence breaks out all over the country. Charlie realizes he and his pregnant wife, Claire, need to get out yesterday.  And so they begin a nail biting, fist clenching journey out of the country which quickly becomes a game of survival.  With the help of a neighborly medical doctor, the couple eventually leaves Iran, along with the doctor and his wife, as they are no longer safe.

Fast forward to Ayatollah Khomeini death bed.  Then again to September 2001.  Significant changes and pivotal events occur at those time periods (of course, 9/11 plays a part in the plot).

This book is part historical fiction, part apocalyptic, and part educational regarding the teachings of the Islam, radical Islam, Christianity, and spywork.  Action packed and intriguing, this was a quick read but left me researching Islam and Mohammad.  I ended up quite frightened, actually.

I found it fitting that I would read so much about Islam on the 9th anniversary of the World Trade Center tragedy.  I found myself reflecting on the tragedy of human kind.  The constant bloodshed of God's children over the belief of God.  All major religious bodies believe in one God.  All major religious bodies agree there have been prophets on the earth to further God's work.  Hello?  Could it be the same God?  Would different Gods place their children on the same earth?  Doubtful.

And yet...

Spanish Christians murdered other Christians (who had converted from Judaism), the Jews and Muslims because they were not the Christians the Spanish wanted.

Christians and Jews alike murdered 6 million Jews during the Holocaust.

Bloody Mary and her rampage.

The people of Missouri killing the Mormons because they didn't want that form of Christianity around.

The Irish fighting for years, killing thousands over Catholicism and Protestant religion.

It's a book that made me think.  And now I'm sad.

Quick.  Make me laugh.  Tell me a joke or give me a link.


IntrovertedJen said...

Hi, Nancy! I'm your interview swap partner for Book Blogger Appreciation Week and I just wanted to let you know I just re-sent your questions to your ntaylor228 address!

CountessLaurie said...

My almost five year old told me on the way to church that god had extra babies. so he puts them in grown ups bellies.

Did you laugh?

She proceeded to tell me that when she was in my belly, she thought it was a bouncy house.

Happy sunday.

Violet said...

This sounds like an intense read. It is truly tragic how many people have been killed for their religious beliefs over the centuries. I don't think I will ever be able to wrap my mind around religiously-motivated violence.

If you still need something funny to cheer you up, this Demetri Martin video usually makes me laugh.