About the Book

Ibrahim is an Egyptian who is torn between his two identities. By his mother, he is a Copt (Egyptian Christian), and by his father, he is a Muslim. His sister, who is a Muslim fundamentalist, convinces him to be initiated by the Muslim Brothers…(Synopsis)

Along the way, Ibrahim narrates the persecution of the Copts and describes the ideas of the Muslim Brothers and their methods to win the population and take power in Egypt. He narrates the beginnings of the war of Lebanon (1975-1976) and describes the military training camps of the Palestinians — camps where, at the time, terrorists from the entire world came to… (Synopsis)

Reviews

I did not read this book as a novel, but as an authentic confession, whose author I have never met. The latter is a young Egyptian Muslim Brother, living in the 1970s, under the anti-communist and pro-American regime of Anwar el-Sadat, at the time when the latter thought that it served his political project to allow the reconstitution, particularly in the Universities along the course of the Nile river, of the “Holy Brotherhood,” founded in 1928 at Ismailia, near the Suez canal, by the Koranic ideologue Hassan el-Banna, whose grandsons — how ironic! — are the Ramadan brothers, ardent propagators, at the time of writing these lines, of the Islamist ideology, in the very heart of Europe…

The narrator, after having become affiliated in Egypt with this secret society, ritually, under the auspices of a Koran and a revolver, accepts, for a meager salary, to go to Lebanon with part of his family…

Once in the extremely violent fire of this false civil war, of this real Lebanese-Palestinian conflict — and this is the part of the book that most interested me, because it at last showed me what was happening within the ranks of the “Islamo-Progressists” who were destroying Lebanon —, the narrator little by little comes to doubt the justifiability of his Islamo-warring militancy…

However our man — despite his prior hardening, seeing so many abject crimes being committed in Lebanon, including by himself, comes to feel disgust rising up within him, a disgust that will finally, after a personal tragedy, end with his taking his distances from the Muslim Brothers, and lead to the fatal outcome — necessarily fatal…

I admittedly have no irrefutable proof of the total authenticity of this story, aside from the fact that reading it, naturally with great initial suspicion, I quickly acquired an intimate conviction of its truthfulness with respect to a particularly cruel conflict. Jihad, the Holy War of Ibrahim, has indeed taken place, alas! However, contrary to thousands of other pitiless combats of this type taking place against everything that is not Muslim, this particular Jihad ends with a shattering change of heart of the mudjahid, the “warrior of the holy war…” Should we then say, with Mohammed, that “His repentance was so great that it would suffice to save an entire nation”?

Jean-Pierre Péroncel-Hugoz, Foreign Correspondent of “Le Monde” in the Near East, in Cairo then in Beirut, at the time of the events of the book

A very well-informed book… in order to understand.

Francois-Xavier de Guibert, first publisher

Synopsis

Torn between identities…

Ibrahim is an Egyptian who is torn between his two identities. By his mother, he is a Copt (Egyptian Christian), and by his father, he is a Muslim. His sister, who is a Muslim fundamentalist, convinces him to be initiated by the Muslim Brothers. This initiation is secret and will bind Ibrahim forever, since he vows a blind obedience to the Organization. Thus, obeying orders, he will go to Lebanon to make the holy war, the djihad, against the Christians and the moderate Muslims.

History seen from the inside…

The book is the story of Ibrahim, told by himself. In it, he narrates the persecution of the Copts and describes the ideas of the Muslim Brothers and their methods to win the population and take power in Egypt. He narrates the beginnings of the war of Lebanon (1975-1976) and describes the military training camps of the Palestinians – camps where, at the time, terrorists from the entire world came to train. He describes the refugee camps in Lebanon, and how they were transformed into fortified camps, and the contrast between the misery of the refugees and the secret underground military compounds.

A shattering change of heart…

He lives a personal interior conflict after witnessing the crimes committed in Lebanon by him and by others. The war of Lebanon will thus change his life forever, through a series of crisis events and battles, such as the shooting of the Aïn Remmaneh bus, the fall of Karantina and of the Palestinian camp of Tell-Zaatar, and also, the tragedies of Damour and of other Lebanese towns of villages.

 

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