SaraKa's Reviews > The Butterfly Mosque: A Young American Woman's Journey to Love and Islam

The Butterfly Mosque by G. Willow Wilson
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's review
Dec 08, 2010

it was amazing
Read in December, 2010

With nearly palpable descriptions of Cairene life through the eyes of a former atheist, her story is simply beautiful. Wilson is extremely insightful, candid and open-minded in her exposition of Islamic and Egyptian traditions and perspectives through the eyes of a newcomer; she is always sure to incorporate and understand divergent opinions and ways of life, which is why I found her journey to be both fascinating and refreshing in these times of misdirected hostility and unjust treatment of Islam and its 2 billion+ followers as part of an alien monolith.

" I had caught hold, and seen other catch hold, of something that could not be touched by geography. To live beyond the threshold of identity, to do so in the name of peace that has not yet occurred but that is infinitely possible -- this is exhilarating, necessary, and within reach."

As she relived her journey with the reader by her side, capturing the both splendor and pains of adapting to an unfamiliar and sometimes hostile environment, I was particularly impacted by her poignant descriptions of faith, feelings and ideas that seem transcendent and at times untranslatable into the spoken word. With a level-headed and inquisitive attitude, she was clearly able to see beneath the blankets of hatred and paranoia that obscure populations of both continents--a means of reconciliation and humanity between seemingly distinct and incompatible ways of life.

“It’s a strange feeling, praying into your hands, filling the air between them with words. We think of divinity as something infinitely big, but it is also infinitely small — the condensation of your breath on your palms, the ridges in your fingertips, the warm space between your shoulder and the shoulder next to you.”
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