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guns, fire, screams of death and slogans of freedom, bullets and

stones,” the Street of Storytellers is “turned into a battleground”

(255-256). Even so, as the narrator tells us, in face of the King’s forces,

“hundreds of Peshawaris planted their feet on the Street of Storytellers

and said no, they would not retreat,” for, “[i]f a man is to die

defending a land let the land be his land, the people his people” (256).

From setting up education programs and launching the civil

disobedience movement, Qayyum, the Khudai Khidmatgar, and

Ghaffar Khan in the novel all together send out a pacifist message that

is as important now in the post-9/11 era as it was before. In doing so,

the novel fights back against biased Western media representation of

Muslims as terror suspects, a labeling that has been repeated in news

coverage since 9/11, “solidifying the connection between terrorism and

Islam” (Powell, 2011: 97). Most importantly, Shamsie’s novel asserts

that, by rejecting the use of violence that extremist groups such as Haji

Sahib’s jihadists, 9/11’s terrorists, and ISIS’s militant groups have taken

up, nonviolent civil resistance can provide an alternative to the passive

acceptance of oppression. Patriots can engage in constructive tactics

such as education, mass noncooperation, and civil disobedience to

achieve local political and social change while contributing to world


In addition to the micro dimension,

A God in Every Stone


presents critical cosmopolitanism from a macro-societal perspective. It

could be reflected, as Delanty maintains, in “changing core-periphery

relations, with the core having to re-define itself from the perspective

of the periphery” (2006: 41-42). As pointed out earlier, a large portion


A God in Every Stone

is set in London, and it is also in this novel

that Shamsie first imagines an Englishwoman, Vivian, as a protagonist.

Through Vivian’s border-crossing from England to Turkey and then to

British India, Shamsie explores the dynamics of core-periphery

relations. It is a critical approach similar to, yet different from, the one

Shamsie employed in

Burnt Shadows

through Hiroko’s border crossing.

While the latter is situated in the subaltern position, the former is from

the colonial perspective. In other words, what

A God in Every Stone