6 YA Books About Muslims Casually Not Being Terrorists

Because America seems to have a bit of trouble distinguishing Muslims from terrorists, I’ve decided to supply a handy dandy reading list. Books are delightfully decorated passports to empathy, so take a look at these novels about Muslims NOT. BEING. TERRORISTS.


sSophia Khan is Not Obliged by Ayisha Malik

WELL AREN’T WE FEELING WITTY. Sophia Khan is the most charming hijabi to ever grace literature. When tasked with writing a Muslim dating book, Sophia sets forth on a clumsy adventure with a lovable family by her side. Destroying stereotypes and quipping at social issues is all bundled in. Consequently, she’s not a terrorist!copy-of-written-in-the-stars

Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed

This Pakistani page-turner pokes at the faults in arranged marriages. With insights to South Asian culture, both the good and bad is exposed. Also, the protagonist and family is Muslim. And. Not. Terrorist. r

The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

While the protagonist of the book is a homeless boy, Magnus Chase, his best sassy buddy is Samirah al-Abbas. As Sam totes a warrior’s hijab, she collects the souls of slain warriors off battlefields—the least terrorist-y thing you could do. In other words, Sam is a Muslim and not a terrorist! Whew! Do you sense a theme here? I feel like we’re really making progress.


If you prefer to delight in the latest and the greatest, fret not. Here’s a collection of snazzy 2017 releases featuring Muslims! (Do we still have to say “not being terrorists”? Have you gotten the message yet?)

secretThe Secret Lives of the Amir Sisters by Nadiya Hussain (Release Date: January 12, 2017)

In a quaint English village, the only Muslims are the four Amir sisters—Fatima, Farah, Bublee (BUBLEE BUBLEE BUBLEE my first-born child will be named this), and Mae. (Basically, Little Women but Muslim? I think yes.) Each sister fosters a secret life. None of these secret lives involve being a terrorist. They’re Muslim, but they’re not terrorists. Getitgotitgood.

saintsSaints and Misfits by S.K. Ali (Release Date: June 13, 2017)

This tale whirls around “an Arab Indian-American hijabi teenager who is a Flannery O’Connor obsessed book nerd, aspiring photographer, and sometime graphic novelist is not exactly easy to put into a box.” Now, take a look at that title for me. It lists Saints. It lists Misfits. You see what it doesn’t list? Terrorist.

authenticThe Authentics by Abdi Nazemian (Release Date: August 8, 2017)

This dazzling novel is about a proudly Iranian-American Muslim girl. While delving into family, culture, self-discovery, and sweet-sixteen birthday bashes, everything is kept authentic. Most authentic of it all is the Muslim representation. As in, the protagonist is not a terrorist. Thus, an authentic Muslim.

Have any books revolving around non-terrorist Muslims expanded your vision? How so? Have any other diverse books educated you? How did they serve as a route to empathy? Chat with me on the wonders of literature, chums!



20 thoughts on “6 YA Books About Muslims Casually Not Being Terrorists

  1. I can’t believe we’re at a place where we need lists like this. 😦 But I am definitely going to have to write some of these recommendations down.

  2. SILANUR! Hey girl! It’s been a while! I’ve been so busy 😖 AH SWEETIE. The credit goes to the authors of these books for providing excellent words for me to promote. SOPHIA KHAN IS THE BEST ONE. SO WITTY AND SUPERB. YOU WILL LAUGH AND THEN LAUGH MORE. LISTEN TO BECCA, DARLING. THINK SOPHIE KINSELLA BUT WITH MUSLIM DATING AND SOUTH ASIAN CULTURE.

  3. I’m so sorry you have to hear that. I don’t see how you would be responsible if I’m not responsible as a Christian for the actions of the KKK. People are ignorant *sigh* You have nothing to apologize for!

  4. I’m truly sad that I felt I had to right this post too. I’m a Christian so this islamaphobia doesn’t directly affect me…and yet i still feel it ALL THE TIME. I see it everywhere. I’m happy to promote these beautiful books! They’re filled with compassion that I hope will push people to empathy. Maybe we can fix prejudice one book at a time!
    I love Finding Audrey! I don’t have anxiety, and the book really helped me to empathize with those who do.
    SOPHIA KHAN IS SO GOOD. So many stereotypes are broken with wit and a feel-good theme. It’s described as chick lit, but for me that book when above and beyond romance.
    Right?? The KKK literally roots it’s white supremacy in the Bible with twisted logic. ISIS does the same thing with Islam. SO what’s the difference?
    Thank you for your thoughtful comment!

  5. You are NOT responsible. I am so sorry that you feel that way. It has no logic and is just…like…how could someone as sweet as you have anything to do with terrorists! You don’t! I, as a Christian, am not responsible for the actions of the KKK, so the same standard should be applied to Muslims and terrorists.
    SOPHIA KHAN IS SO GOOD. AMAZING. WITTY. IMPORTANT. DELIGHTFUL. DAZZLING. You MUST read it! Oooh I just heard about The Gauntlet—Jumanji but Middle Eastern? Count me in!

  6. BECCA! I swear I was just going through your blog to tell you how much I’ve missed talking to you, and then you post THIS and you make me love you even more???? SERIOUSLY THANK YOU so much!! ❤ I actually didn’t even know about some of these even though I’m Muslim-American and I can’t wait to check em out. Again, thanks for being such a role model as a blogger, honestly. Tons of love💕💕💕

  7. Thanks you for this Becca, you put the hugest smile on my face ❤
    You know… sometimes it's really hard for us not to start believing that Islam correlates with terrorism because of how much we hear it. I have this impulse to apologize everytime there's a so-called muslim killing people even if I have nothing to do with it. Also, these books are ALL on my TBR and I can't wait to read them!

  8. I love this post! I hate that their is so much hate and prejudice to muslims and that you feel like you have to post to educate people but I love that you are to spread the diversity.
    I think people really can learn empathy from books and I feel like they have the power to change peoples opinions, a book that was representative to me in some way was Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella .It features a young girl suffering from Anxiety. It hit me because it was like my life and the thoughts I had and then as people began to read it I think they learnt how Anxiety isn’t a case of just ‘getting over it’ which i’ve been told so many times.

    Sorry to change the subject topic a little, I just wanted to include an example for me. I’ve heard alot of good things about Ayisha Malik’s book, definitely going on my TBR.
    I wish we could all have the same mindset in the sense that then everyone can acknowledge that not all muslims are terrorists, terrorism doesn’t even have a religion?! everytime I see someone or hear someone say that they are I immediately am like why are you generalizing? I’m a white christian so does that make me a nazi, or one of the men who brought over slaves or the white mass shooters?
    It makes me so angry to think about, I hope my points are coming out ok.

    Love will win ❤

  9. Oohhh I’m so happy you’re posting this Becca, thank you! ❤ Muslim and terrorism are kind of a sensitive topics for me because while I know it's not true, I've seen a lot of Muslims, both in US and in MY own country, killed people in the name of our religion, so, I feel ashamed and a bit responsible which is silly because terrorists have no religion haha anyway I digress 😛 this list is amazing! I still haven't read Sophia Khan but SOON haha also there are so many new releases with Muslim protagonists that I'm super excited for such as The Gauntlet 😀

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