War on Error: Real Stories of American Muslims
The University of Arkansas Press, 2007.
War on Error brings together the stories of twelve young people, all vastly different but all American, and all Muslim. Their approaches to religion couldn’t be more diverse: from a rapper of Korean and Egyptian descent to a bisexual Sudanese American to a converted white woman from Colorado living in Cairo and wearing the hijab. These individuals, whether they were born to the religion or came to it on their own, have made their own decisions about how observant they’ll be, whether or not to fast, how often to pray, and what to wear.
Though each story is unique, each is also seen through the searching eyes of Melody Moezzi, herself an American Muslim of Iranian descent. She finds that the people she interviews are horrified that, in a post-9/11 world, they have seen their religion come to be represented, in the minds of many Americans, by terrorism. These thoughtful and articulate individuals represent the truth about the faith and its adherents who are drawn to the logic, compassion, and tolerance they find in Muslim teachings.
Moezzi, ever comfortable with contradiction and nuance, is a likable narrator whose underlying assumption that “faith is greater than dogma” is strengthened as she learns more about her religion and faces her own biases and blind spots. This fresh new voice, combined with the perceptions and experiences of her fellow American Muslims, make for a read that is both illuminating and enjoyable.
Praise for War on Error
Winner of the 2007 Georgia Author of the Year, Creative Nonfiction/Essay Category.
“Engaging and well written.” — Publishers Weekly
“Spirited and smart and full of surprises.” — The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“Moezzi writes clearly, passionately, and sincerely, giving the fair-minded reader a sorely needed introduction to American Muslims that defies the scripted questions with unscripted answers.” — The Nation
“Moezzi’s goal in this book is to remove ‘Islam’ from the nameless, faceless, Evil Empire association that the religion has become to so many Americans… She succeeds admirably.” — Georgia Writers Association
“Melody Moezzi’s book is a compelling exploration of the under-represented lives of American Muslims. Written with warmth and grace, these essays humanize a community that is frequently misunderstood at a time when we can ill afford misunderstanding.” — Ausma Khan, Editor-in-Chief, Muslim Girl Magazine
“I am fascinated by Moezzi’s interviews…They will change forever the way most readers understand Islam.” — KLIATT Magazine (starred review)
“These voices should be heard and these stories must be told.” — Suzanne Blum, coauthor of Translating Culture: A Rhetoric for Ethnographic Writing in the Composition Classroom