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Reviewed by Maria Beltran for Readers' Favorite
Under Siege: Black Muslim Down Under by Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman unravels with his first trip to Australia to ask his fiancée Tara’s parents their blessing for the couple's marriage. The trip immediately turns sour when Australian authorities at the airport greet him with little respect. Nonetheless, he returns to marry her. Leaving behind a successful life in journalism in the United States, his life grows in the new country. What follows is a fascinatingly intriguing view of Australia from an outsider’s perspective, rife with a poignant perspective on change and struggle from simply being who he is.
A compelling read, this book captures in vivid detail a migrant’s life. Under Siege: Black Muslim Down Under is a memoir that touches on starting life anew in a different country, religion, race, and love, as well as the vast differences in culture and government between the US, Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman's home country, and Australia. With a credible background in journalism in the US, Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman writes insightful observations and a gripping account of his experiences being a Muslim African-American amidst the post 9-11 era. He weaves his journalistic writing well in an autobiographical novel, rendering his truths clearly. What readers may also appreciate from this book is that he stresses Muslim opposition to extremism, shedding light on the unappreciated majority of the Muslim population who uphold their beliefs steadfastly and condemn extremism of any form. It also brings to light the situation of a misunderstood community, with quotes from the Qur’an that explain how the jihad from the extremist community might be unjustified according to Islamic tenets. Undoubtedly, Under Siege is one enlightening book to explore, worth the time readers will spend on every page.