Friday, March 7, 2008

Women in Islam - The Stoning of Soraya M.

"The Stoning of Soraya M. - This resonant book portrays the ugliness of fundamentalist Islamic mob justice in Khomeini-era Iran. Sahebjam, an Iranian journalist based in France who has written critically of the regime, returned to his homeland under cover in 1986. While visiting a small town he calls Kupayeh, he learned how an innocent 35-year-old woman had been stoned to death for supposed infidelity. His thorough reporting, based on a further visit to the village, reconstructs Soraya's life and killing with much dialogue and interior monologue. Soraya gave birth to nine children in 14 years and her husband Ghorban-Ali also turned to prostitutes. He became involved in shady business deals and began to associate with Sheik Hassan, a criminal who was appointed Ayatollah Khomeini's local representative. When Ghorban-Ali, having fallen in love with another woman, accused his wife of infidelity, villagers lied to aid him and Soraya was left with no support in the town. Her two eldest sons sat on the male tribunal that declared her guilty, and she was stoned by a mob that included her father. This book refuses to let such horror go unremembered.

Cyrus Nowrasteh is one of the most versatile and creative writer/directors working in Hollywood today. His credits include the hit Showtime movies The Day Reagan Was Shot (2001) and 10,000 Black Men Named George (2002), both of which won rave reviews and numerous awards - including two PEN USA West Literary Awards for Nowrasteh. But 2005 may be Cyrus Nowrasteh's biggest year yet. He's a writer on Steven Spielberg's epic new miniseries about western migration, "Into The West - and he's a writer/producer on ABC's major miniseries about the cataclysmic events of 9/11.

Nowrasteh has always gravitated towards true stories. A Persian-American whose family had to flee Iran when it was taken over by Islamic fundamentalists, Nowrasteh's work combines an appreciation for the intimate and the human, with a love of history and respect for America's founding traditions."

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