Minireviews – Guantanamo diary, Persian night

Mahvish Rukhsana Khan – My Guantanamo Diary (2008)

Khan begins working as a translator for the lawyers of the detainees at Guantanamo because she believes that, although they may be guilty of what they are accused of, they still deserve to face their accusations in a fair trial. She gradually comes to believe that most of the detainees are in fact innocent, victims of power struggles in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and that many have been tortured and sexually assaulted. The whole system is a massive injustice.

Recommended: Yes. She could be more skeptical of the detainees’ stories, but she backs up the strongest claims with trusthworthy sources.

Amir Taheri – The Persian Knight, Iran under the Khomeinist revolution (2008)

So when a book about modern Iran opens with a chapter about how Shia Islam is stupider than Sunni Islam, a lot of questions pop into my mind: What was the author thinking? What was the editor thinking? What were the blurbers thinking? The one question I’m not asking is: What other valuable insights does this author have to offer me about life, religion and politics in modern Iran?

Read: 31 pages.

Recommended: No.

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