||October 11, 2011
Barnes & Noble.com
A suspenseful, action-packed warning of what happens when humanity gives in to its worst instincts and strips the human rights of a people deemed a “threat” to normal society.
"It is not life that binds us to this Earth, but Allah. It is not death that takes us, but Allah. To all of our sufferings and joys comes hope from Allah. But to be able to hear the word of Allah is something many will never hear because they are too blinded by the world's charm and too deaf except to their own lusts."
The war on Islam has taken a new turn. Before, it was only spying and distrust. Now, innocent Muslims are hunted everywhere by order of a secret society that is manipulating world politics. They have already ordered a few countries to take care of the growing "Muslim problem." Muslims are rounded up and thrown into camps around the world, and America joins in. All American-born and American-converted Muslims are forced into relocation camps unless they renounce Islam.
Parasa and her four children are taken from their home and locked away. Her citizenship revoked, her name taken from her, she is designated Prisoner 135908Q. She and the others in the camp are treated like animals and must practice Islam in secret.
With help from a compassionate soldier, some prisoners manage to flee to the mountains and set up a community there, but the war has just begun. Now on the run, will these courageous people be silenced forever?
On the Run
Time passed and soon we could feel the change in the air. The change that meant spring was upon us. Flowers sprang up along the outer perimeter of the fences that surrounded our
camp and one could hear the buzzing of bees as they flew from flower to flower, collecting pollen to take back to their hive. We were anxious about our escape, yet we did our best to conceal our anxiety so that our plan would not be foiled. If we succeeded we would be the only free Muslims in the entire world that we knew of. Granted a fugitive’s life was not one any of us wanted, but anything was better than to be treated like animals and kept locked away from the world, not knowing what was happening to
our Muslim brethren.
We decided to flee in the evening when most of the guards would be sleeping. We got word to the other families about our plan and they got word to the Muslims in the cages who would
create a distraction for us to get away. Everyone was nervous and
scared. If we got caught we would be killed. But we also knew that Allah would deliver us from this evil tyranny if we kept faith
Night came and we met secretly by the fence. There was a blind spot between two guard towers. We would take advantage of the blind spot and run while the Muslims in the cages created
a distraction for us. We would know when it was time to escape when we heard the call of the crow. We waited there silently for twenty minutes and then there were shouts from the guards.
Shortly after was the call of the crow and we instantly sprang into action. Quickly we climbed over the fence, our hands gettingcut on the sharp wire at the top. As soon as we hit the ground
we began running for our lives knowing that if we got caught it would mean the end for us all.
We managed to get through the minefield before the guards noticed we were gone. A shout rang out and we heard the sound of gun shots. Bullets whizzed past us as we struggled to see in the dark, often stumbling over rocks hidden beneath the sand. But the guards were just as helpless as we were at seeing in the dark. We used that to our advantage and pressed further onward, our hearts struggling to beat and adrenaline coursing through our veins. This was a life or death situation. If we did not become free now then everything was lost.
By some miracle none of the bullets hit any of us and we kept running until the sky began to lighten. We were tired from our escape but knew that it was dangerous to sleep in the open. Come daylight the guards would be after us and they would take us back to the camp alive or dead. Hakeem managed to find a small cave and we crowded into it; collapsing from our run. One by run we snuck outside to perform dry ablution since there was no water and then prayed the dawn prayer which was followed up by an optional prayer in which we thanked Allah for saving us from death and helping us escape. We also prayed for the Muslims back in the camp, especially the ones who had helped us escape. They would suffer a high price if we were not caught.
Exhausted from our run we fell asleep in the cave, our bodies huddled together in the cramped space. We were too exhausted to stand watch so we covered the small entrance with a tarp one of the Muslims had stolen from the officers’ barracks before our
flight. We got up four times that day to pray our other four daily prayers and then when night fell we got to our feet and continued running. We had no idea where we were going. But anyplace was better than what we had escaped from. Better to be a fugitive than to
be a prisoner.
“Mommy what’s going to happen to us?” Rahmat asked me.
“I don’t know Rahmat. Only Allah knows what will become of us.”
“What about the Muslims who helped us escape? What is going to happen to them?”
“I doubt the American soldiers would let them live. But if they die, Insha Allah they will be rewarded heaven for helping
We all knew that the Muslims who had helped us escape would be dying today if they hadn’t been killed last night. A Muslim did not just run away from a camp and expect to be given a medal for standing up for Islam. Islam was now a crime in America and anyone caught practicing Islam would be killed. It seemed like the world had finally gotten their wish. Islam was slowly being wiped from the Earth.
We struggled to run in the darkness. It was a moonless night and there were very few stars out in the sky. Still we kept moving, knowing that with each step further away from the camp
the better chance we had of getting away. By the end of the week our food had run out and now we had to run on hunger, lack of sleep and fear. Occasionally we saw some lizards but there was no chance of us catching them. Beneath the scattered brush
there were scorpions and rattle snakes ready to strike upon being threatened. It was a difficult time for our little group.
With Hakeem’s skills and through the grace Allah we managed somehow to find food on our journey but water was a different matter. Cactuses were scattered throughout the desert and they did not yield a lot of water for us to fill our canteens with. We
were forced to ration our drinking water and food supplies in order to make them last. Still we were alive and that was all that mattered to us at the moment. We were the only free Muslims in America, possibly in the entire world.
“Mother are you alright?” Daboor looked at me as we walked along.
“Praise be to God yes, I am okay Daboor. Try not to worry about me.” I said to my son.
“But I do worry Mother. It was my stupid suggestion to leave the camp. I just didn’t like seeing how we are treated by the American soldiers and I didn’t want you and my brothers and
sister to suffer in there.”
“I am fine Daboor but I think Sabura is having trouble.” I said glancing at my daughter.
“Sabura do you want me to carry you?” Daboor asked his sister.
Daboor picked up Sabura and set her on his shoulders as we continued our trek across the desert. Towards morning we
managed to find a small river that was beginning to flow with water. “Thank you Allah for all your bounties upon us.” Ahmed uttered the heartfelt prayer for us all. We filled up our canteens with the fresh water and washed our faces. The cool water was refreshing on our skin and we made proper cleansing for the first time in days before praying the dawn prayer.
There was no protection from the elements so after resting for an hour we got up and continued walking. If we didn’t find food or shelter soon we would perish. Finally we managed to see a town and stood there uncertain whether to venture into the town for food. We had no money so our only choice was to steal or beg for food. But nobody would give food to a Muslim as it was against the law and there were very few Muslim supporters in America. However, we had no other choice. We decided to take our chances and go into the town for food. Perhaps someone would give us food to eat, enough for a month’s journey.
When the sun had set in the evening sky a few of our group went down into the town. I was one of them. I had made Daboor stay with his brothers and sister, for though he was now the man of the family, I was still his mother and as his mother it was my job to provide for my family until Daboor was old enough to get a job. There was no moon out and the stars were covered by clouds which helped make it easier for us to sneak into the town.We were taking a big risk if anyone of us were caught because we could be sent straight back to the camp from which we had escaped.
Being as quiet as possible four others came with me to journey into the center of the town. The rest of the group scattered and took to the scrub brush. We would meet back on
the edge of town and go back to the rest of our waiting party. Please Allah let us be successful in getting food for our group and please
protect us from being caught.
Not wanting to steal from people despite our situation, we began looking in trash cans for food. It was amazing how much food was thrown out that hadn’t been used. I did not understand the point of buying so much food when the majority of it would end up in the trash. But I also knew that Americans as a society were generally wasteful. In our days of ignorance my family too had bought our share of food that had been thrown in the trash after sitting in the freezer for a week. As a Muslim I understood the prohibition on throwing out food. There were so many people who were starving all around the world, even in America. Why couldn’t people have compassion and donate the food they didn’t eat to the poor or to a food bank that would help the poor?
My life with Dawood seemed like a dream. As if that life had happened to somebody else in a distant past that was somehow connected to me despite being unreal. Almost as if I was an onlooker in another person’s life. I missed him terribly. I only hoped that he hadn’t suffered and that he was now in Heaven.
“Parasa…do you think we’ve got enough food?” Mary asked me.
“What?” I shook my head to clear my thoughts and glanced at our arms. “Yes. We should leave now.”
We began walking back to the hill when three more of our group appeared, their arms laden with food. As we walked along we talked quietly to each other about how to keep the food from
“Where are Yusuf and Jamal?” Abdel asked.
“I saw them leaving on the path we took down here. We should hurry.”
We quickened our pace. Something did not feel right. It was suddenly too quite. “I don’t like it here.” I said. “We better hurry before…”
A sound made us jump and we nearly lost the food in our arms. We turned and saw that ten men were surrounding us, their guns pointed at our heads. “Where do think you’re going
4 out of 5 stars
The Devil's Thon, were a group of people who wanted to control the world, disposing of people they didn't approve of. Their focus was now on the American Muslims. All American Muslims, men women and children, were to be gathered from around the world, and were to suffer the same fate of torture and humiliation. Their only salvation would be to reounce Islam and only then would they be granted a pardon. Parasa was sitting in her living room with her husabnd adn four children listening to the president's speech. It worried her that they might be brought back to the US and ushered into camps. Parasa had been born in America after her parents fled Lebanon, believing they'd live a better life, but this really wasn't the case. Because of their nationality and beliefs, they were shunned by most. Then came the day when the group showed up, taking Parasa and her children from their home while her husband was at work. They were chained and blindfolded and herded into a cage like cattle with the other families who had been captured before them. Without being given food or water, until one guard found the courage tao help them. Private Willard Collins pulled off their blindfolds and gave them food, explaining what he could about their plight, but his assistance was short lived before he was called away. When they reached the confines of the camp, they were tattooed and ushered into the showers, then they were given the chance to renounce their religion, which none of them did. The rules were simple. They weren't allowed to leave the camp, nor were they allowed to pray, and if caught they'd face rape, beatings or death. Also it seemed that to speak in protest, even when it was in justice, it carried the sentence of death. Then one night Private Collins paid Parasa a visit, delcaring himself as a friend, telling her who was behind the plot to rid the world of Muslims. He also told her of his brother who had converted, and how his brother and his family were killed because of their faith. Parasa had just learned that her husabdn had been killed when another man showed up, telling them of their plan to escape, but Parasa, as well as the others in the room with her, felt htey should until the witner was over, but the group wouldn't listen. The results were disastrous, but that did not stop the families plan to escape in the spring. They managed to escape the compound, but then their concerns switched to survival. They had nothing with them. No food, no water, and no blankets, so they decided to rummage through the trashcan in a small town, only to be caught, but Benjamin, one of the town's guards, took pity on them and helped them. Later deciding, with a few others, to join them on their journey. Life improved for the group of Muslims, until the Devil's Thorn found them, but the Muslims had been preparing for this day, setting traps. Would the Muslims finally find the peace and freedom they deserved? Or would they again be faced with the cruelty of the Devil's Thorn? This is a frightening concept. To believe that human life, regardless of their beliefs, holds so little importance would surely mark the end of our basic human rights. Although this is a work of fiction it holds many truths. It kept my interst. Good job! 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Deanna
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