Naipaul’s controversial account of his travels through the Islamic world was hailed by The New Republic as “the most notable work on contemporary. Among the Believers is V.S. Naipaul’s classic account of his journeys through Iran, Pakistan, Malaysia, and Indonesia; ‘the believers’ are the. The novelist VS Naipaul has caused an outcry by comparing the in the Muslim world for his books Among the Believers and Beyond Belief.

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Among the Believers : An Islamic Journey by V.S. Naipaul

There are people still, who want to see ‘Islam in action’ as a character in the book put it, however, more and more people are becoming keen on the separation of the faith and the state. And I think I just agreed with Naipaul. It was famous for its woodcarving. xmong

Visiting Iran in the aftermath of Ayatollah Khomeini’s seizure of power, he encounters and speaks with only zealots and petty bureaucrats, and one would hardly think there was anything more to the story. Essays A Writer’s People: Naipaul relates that the Islamic movement is composed nalpaul people who want change but don’t suggest an alternative to the materialistic Western ways.

While most commentators had a positive naippaul of the future of Iran after the Shah’s exit, Naipaul had practically anticipated the extremism into which it will slip in the coming years.

And he only came back from the North to Punjab to find something about Raiwand and Ahmadis in Rabwah, amid salt hills of Punjab.

He seems to lack the sense of concern, the desire to come to terms with a complex reality, which made India, A Wounded Civilisation so impressive. He also met several non-Muslims living in Muslim countries, such as a young Iranian communist who believed that the only country that had known true freedom was Russia between andhis revolutionary fervor matching the religious fervor of his Muslim compatriots.

Islam sits more lightly on the shoulders belieers the Arab than of the non-Arab peoples. An Indonesian Muslim told Naipaul that too much attention was being paid to the maintenance of these old places; the preservation of Indonesian cultural heritage should be something for the international community i. The movement seems to be growing in popularity only because the have-nots are promised retribution through violence.

VS Naipaul launches attack on Islam

Naipaul often records anipaul irritation that Muslims want to have it both ways: Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. I have not read his fiction, but will shortly to see if it is the same kind of colonial apologetics. Overall the narrative remains an interesting and valuable window on ideas and places in the world that ought to be better known in the west, even if Naipaul is sometimes a pill to take rather than a sweet to be enjoyed. But point is that through giving detailed description, he did not present the positive image or aspect, rather he just portray a negative imagery about the people and their lives and took them as primitive and other.


Through informal belivers formal interviews he critically reviewed the belief systems of the people he met, from hired drivers to Ayatollah Khalkhali, an Believeers cleric known for his fondness of execution. Naipaul’s path is narrow indeed and from this he nai;aul whole nations and cultures.

His travels take him to Iran, Pakistan, Malaysia and Indonesia — countries with distinctive Islamic traditions, all of them influenced by, but not contained within, the Arab culture in which Islam made its first appearance. But what were his aims, what was his mission? If we closely interpret the history, we can see how he depicted women. Naipaul has put forth the image of Kaghan as a place in which there are a lot of Afghanis living there.

He is basically a Hindu nationalist, who has a deep dislike of Muslims, and that is where he is coming from.

Among the Believers : An Islamic Journey

Islam according to Iqbal was not only a way of life for every individual rather it was a form of government. The other thing which we can see in the history is how he depicted Hindustan and the Brahamins. Michener Naipaul is rude, he’s elitist, and he came to these countries wanting to find reasons to dislike the Islamic faith.

Naipaul is not as much vitriolic as repetitive and static in his reporting.

But no boor could write prose as fine as Naipaul’s. Naipaul is not shy in calling them on their western disconnect, but gives them a pass here. It is to be parasitic: It may be not true because most travelers tend to confuse the Pakistani Pathans with the Afghanis. Despite Naipaul’s quite obvious bias, you can almost see the roots of Pakistan’s present-day troubles, at one level, being created on the pages in front of you.


When he meets a friend who was a civil servant and a poet he proposes that leaders involved in making Pakistan should have focused more on developing institutions instead of saving faith to which his friend replies with the mainstream answer that it was the people who corrupted the land, faith had nothing to do with it.

It is perhaps no failing that he did not penetrate the mask of conformity and self-protection, but it is a severe failing that he wrote as if there was nothing more to the story than the surface, and gives a facile appraisal of the conditions giving rise to destitution and unrest in the Muslim world. This, in spite of the claims by those he meets and talks to, that Islam is a complete social system that has failed only because of men and not for any fundamental flaw in and of itself.

Whenever a traveler writer visit some place, especially third world, they used some specific strategies to represent other cultures as inferior and they consider themselves as superior and native people as inferior and primitive.

Thanks for telling us about the problem. It is a despised place of indulgence and evil and a preferred place for an education, trustworthy medicine, consumer products and residence.

Naipaul is such a celebrity when it comes to travel writing.

Among the Believers – Wikipedia

Either in Iran, Pakistan, Malaysia or Indonesia, Naipaul goes into the heart of the matter, using whatever raw materials that get in his ways of travel. It comes across as someone who already has made thhe his mind and then explored the world to justify their assumptions.

My trouble with the book is its absolute lack of sympathy. I read this as I was traveling through Malaysia, actually. He used these strategies in a very intellectual way that by using these strategies he actually depicted the negative aspects of society but he presented in such a convincing way that reader thinks he feels unsatisfied and pity for it.

In the fourth chapter of his visit to Pakistan, he tells us briefly the history of Arab invaders in Sindh with reference to a book called Chachnama.