The Runaways by Fatima Bhutto traces the manner in which dissatisfaction, cynicism, isolation and deprivation can act as the pathways to Islamic radicalization. Bhutto has written an extensive tale spread across the world. The three protagonists following their individual pathways, eventually find their paths converging near a jihadi training camp in Mosul, Iraq.
Born into a political family, brought up in Syria, America and United Kingdom, the author is capable to grasp how Islamic extremist tendencies can be transnational. However, the novel not only caters to the notion of radicalism, but rather the way displaced youth fails to feel a sense of belonging towards anywhere. Also, how vulnerable situations of such people can be easily exploited and lead them to seek redemption in radical and extremist outlets.
The book gets even more relevant as the jihadi brides that left to support the Islamic extremist outfits seek to return to their home countries but find themselves stateless.
A lecturer and lifestyle consultant by the day; an avid reader and writer by the night, I am a student of life.