08 Jan / How to Be a Muslim: An American Story by Haroon Moghul [in Library Journal]
With raw honesty (the memoir opens with suicide ideation), debilitating angst (the unrelenting hold of mental illness), and humor when least expected (the terrors of securing a prom date), Haroon Moghul’s memoir becomes an illuminating antidote to contemporary Islamophobia.
As the U.S.-born son of immigrant Pakistani parents, Moghul was a sickly child and a social misfit in school, who now is working his dream job “sure-footedly navigating a privileged world of pundits, politicos, policymakers.” He’s also what he refers to as a “professional Muslim” who, despite his recurring discomfort with his own spiritual relationship, has lectured globally about Islam; he doesn’t hesitate to expose himself as both atheist and spokesperson for his religion. In his doubt, questioning, and beseeching, Moghul models a universality in the ultimate relationship between man and maker.
Narrator Kamran R. Khan is a fitting cipher, his well-modulated voice always in control despite the swings between the commonplace and harrowing that happen across Moghul’s story.