Bijan Omrani

Searching for Sufism

Travels in a Dervish Cloak


Eland Press 240pp £19.95 order from our bookshop

Since the American invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, the strife emanating from the northwestern tribal areas of Pakistan has ensnared the attention of the international media. Pakistan has been portrayed as nothing more than a dismal arena of never-ending suicide bombings, drone strikes and sectarian attacks. The local population is presented as an abject and undifferentiated backdrop to this parade of violence and cruelty, huddled between the Scylla of terrorist militias and the Charybdis of a corrupt and dysfunctional government, which is itself responsible for manipulating Islam for its own ends, though it has suffered a devastating penalty for doing so. In these circumstances it is difficult, especially for outsiders, to imagine Pakistan as a place of colour and individuality, where culture and religion offer infinite variety. 

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • The mystery of Jack the Ripper's identity has long been agonised over. But what do we know about his victims?… ,
    • A piece of Literary Review history from way back in 1983: John Haffenden talks to the great Iris Murdoch. ,
    • Britain’s only travelling lit fest, the Garden Museum Literary Festival is heading to Houghton Hall, Norfolk, for a… ,
    • 'The 19th-century German sage is not my idea of a pleasant travel companion' goes hiking with Friedr… ,
    • If you want ideas about what to read next, sign up to our free email newsletter, and get book reviews, archive mate… ,
    • 'The heroic male nude could not, I think, be used today to signify civic pride and glory', as Michelangelo’s 'David… ,
    • 'Munch’s later works show us a man liberated from the torments that gave rise to some of the best-known early works… ,