The Butterfly Mosque

The Butterfly Mosque

A Young Woman's Journey to Love and Islam

Book - 2010
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The extraordinary story of a young North American's conversion to Islam and her ensuing romance with an Egyptian man, The Butterfly Mosque is a stunning articulation of a Westerner embracing the Muslim world

After graduating from university, Willow Wilson, a young American - and newly converted Muslim - impulsively accepts a teaching position in Cairo. There, she meets Omar, a passionate young nationalist with a degree in astrophysics. Omar introduces Willow to the bustling city, and through him she discovers a young, moderate nationalist movement, a movement that both wants to divest itself of western influence and regain cultural pride. When the two find themselves unexpectedly in love, despite their deep cultural differences, they decide that they will try to forge a third culture, a new landscape that will embrace some of each of their cultures, and give their fledgling romance some hope of survival.

Wilson weaves this engaging personal story with deep insights into faith in a fractured world, and gives westerners rare insight into an important young reform movement. Butterfly Mosque is an inspiring account of an unlikely cross-cultural love, and the moving story of two young people working within the boundaries of contemporary religion and culture to forge a life together against the odds.

From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: Toronto : McClelland & Stewart, c2010.
ISBN: 9780771089343
Characteristics: 304 p. ;,22 cm.


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RomanceAddict May 03, 2019

Nowadays, G. Willow Wilson is well-known as the co-creator and writer of Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel, a Pakistani-Muslim-American teenager from New Jersey who is all about the pop culture geek life and saving the world. Circa 2000, Wilson was fresh out of college and trying to figure out what to do with her life, so she moved to Cairo, Egypt. While living the expat life in Egypt and navigating cultural and religious shock, she found a fiance (now husband) and his warm, loving extended family, and a new faith: Islam. What she found - and what you will read in this memoir - challenges the stereotypes that we in "the West" tend to hold regarding Muslim-majority countries and cultures. Wilson has gone on to write more comics (Cairo, Air, Vixen, Wonder Woman) and books ("Alif the Unseen", "The Bird King") where she integrates Islamic themes with contemporary or fantasy settings.

May 01, 2017

The author has done a very good job in explaining the challenges one can face in the course of adopting a new religion and getting settled in a new country/culture. The book also highlights some of the important aspects of Islam which are not commonly shown over the mainstream media.All in all its a good read.

Feb 21, 2017

I read the book and it was okay. I agree with another poster, the author from interview I read, and her statements does seem to be very self important. The story seemed to be she had no religious background, so as an adult she became intrigued with Islam. She went to Cairo to work, and meets a guy who she basically proposed to a bit later. She converts to Islam and becomes a Muslim, and marries the guy. The Butterfly mosque had a beautiful name but she never really talks about going to worship at the mosque.

Jan 02, 2016

I'm more likely to believe Geraldine Brooks take on the subject - Nine Parts of Desire.

Jan 02, 2016

No rating. I didn't have any similar feelings or agreement with the other reviews. She makes a promise on 'if I do this or that I'll convert or believe...' Right away I was put off by her telling how during a university lecture she talks so much that another in the hall has to shush her twice. Self-important attitude with no respect for others. Falls in love with some man almost upon meeting, converts, etc. It might be interesting the check her out in another 15 years time to see what her beliefs & actions become.

Sep 14, 2015

If I had a top 10 list for books I've read over the past year, I'd definitely add the Butterfly Mosque. Why? Because it stretched my thinking. I have pretty much zero interest in Islam, yet the author was somehow able to bridge that chasm for me ( I would characterize the author as seeming to be more of a Sufi than anything). She also writes for the new Ms. Marvel, creating a refreshingly desexualized character.

May 20, 2014

Wonderful, auto-biographical, true tale of an American woman, teaching in Cairo, converting to Islam, and marrying into a caring, warm Muslim family! It really helps to understand our misconceptions of the Muslim worldview, and how we are guided and misguided by our Govts and media about what is really going on.. Highly recommend it!

guynesegal Jul 07, 2013

An excellent read I stumbled on, when buying time in the library while waiting to use one of the computers. Very inspiring to me. She is my new favorite author.

nuztorad Mar 09, 2013

An engaging, insightful and moving book about a very human experience. Many people can relate to the sentiments and events in Wilson's life, I think, or if not can benefit from the open and straight-forward way she explains how and why things happen. It will certainly challenge any stereotype people have of converts to Islam, of the Middle East, of Islam and its followers and of what it means to "belong" to a country or culture. Truly, it is a story of many migrations: of the body, of the mind and of the heart.

Dec 14, 2010

Enjoyable, with interesting stories and insights into a Muslim woman's life in Cairo. There were some moving moments, but nothing that would shock. The story was well written and I liked the romance and the flow of it.

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