In the days of Boko Haram, ISIS, Al Qaida, Al Shabaab and explosions and suicide attacks I read this book by the Algerian author Yasmina Khadra. The book is set in a small village in the countryside during the heady days of the islamistic movement FIS and its military wing. 

We get to know the people in this small community, we get a glimpse of their traditions and their longings, their ups and downs. Slowly but surely the climate changes, first due to the influence of sjeik Abbas who start his own center of preaching as opposed to the local imam. Abbas has views that were not adhered to by the villagers. Abbas gets a following and his influence in the community is growing.

What follows is the road to destruction, a road to annihilation. A story of deceit and cruelties (smashed heads, dangling bodies, cut throats, abused children and women). A story of mistrust and of treason and revenge. A story of trying to be on both sides of the chasm. A story of glorification of martyrdom. These revolutionary terrorists devour their own children. 

What is left is emptiness and silence and distrust in the streets of the small village, where blood has found its way among the cobblestones. The walls have witnessed bullets, rape, and severed heads leaning against it.

The wolf is unleashed in the streets and the lambs of the Lord should fear for their lives. In the end the wolf even devours its own young and himself. 

It was a tough and gut-wrenching read, but so is life at times. 

Yasmina Khadra – Les agneaux du Seigneur – 1998

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I enjoy reading about Africa. New books. Old books. By African writers. By non-African writers. Novel. History. Travel. Biographies. Autobiographies. Politics. Colonialism. Poetry.

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