The Domestic Crusaders (Paperback)
This play offers and intimate look at a Muslim Pakistani-American family. It is funny, relatable, beautiful, and altogether humanist. Well, a celebration of humanity. Worth reading and rereading.
-- Cody— From Cody M. Staff Picks
The Domestic Crusaders focuses on a day in the life of a modern, Muslim Pakistani-American family of six eclectic, unique members, who convene at the family house to celebrate the 21st birthday of the youngest child. With a background of 9-11 and the scapegoating of Muslim Americans, the tensions and sparks fly among the three generations, culminating in an intense family battle as each "crusader" struggles to assert and impose their respective voices and opinions, while still attempting to maintain and understand the unifying thread that makes them part of the same family.
About the Author
Wajahat Ali is a Muslim American of Pakistani descent. Ali's essays and interviews on contemporary affairs, politics, the media, popular culture and religion frequently appear in the Washington Post, The Guardian, Salon, Slate, Wall Street Journal Blog, CNN.com, CounterPunch, and Chowk, among other on-line sites. He was honored as an "An Influential Muslim American Artist" by the State Department and invited to their 2008 Annual Ramadan dinner. He is the recipient of Muslim Public Affairs Council's prestigious "Emerging Muslim American Artist" recognition of 2009. Wajahat Ali is also an Attorney at Law, practicing in the San Francisco Bay Area.
"This play is brilliant. Moving. Shapely. Clever. Funny."
"Wajahat Ali is writing about contemporary and essential matters, a source not only of laughter but, more importantly, of understanding."
"From the deft irony of its title to the tender pain of its ending, The Domestic Crusaders is a moving story of one Pakistani family in America. But it's more than that. By engaging us in the family's conflicts, loves, fears and secrets, the play dissolves the easy assumptions and prejudices of the post 9/11 West. Touching; funny; important."
Harriett Gilbert, BBC World Service
"A multi-generational romp through the dynamics of family relationships and post-9/11 America. The characters in Wajahat Ali's funny and biting play spare no one from their sharp barbsincluding fellow Muslims. The Domestic Crusaders is what all high art aspires to dospotlight complicated truths (and contradictions) without offering easy answers. Tension overlaps with comic relief. American pop culture intermingles with Pakistani traditions replanted in the United States. The Domestic Crusaders is a universal story about people whose dreams have carried them to a point of no return. They can't go back to their lives before 9/11. There is only now. Watching them deal with it is to be spellbound from start to finish. "
Jon Curiel, San Francisco Chronicle
"Domestic Crusaders is more than just a work of entertainment. It is also Ali's response to the treatment of Muslims received in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11... it is compelling drama, and there is intergenerational conflict, humor, prejudice, and a dark family secret. The characters, in other words, are not paragons of virtue, which is intentional."
Ellis Cose, Newsweek