Time for the good points of Keith Clemons's Mohamed's Moon.
Culture. Muslim culture, that is. Clemons does a good job explicating the Muslim viewpoint for Americans, and he's not altogether unsympathetic in some cases. American degeneracy is a major excuse for extremists, and though it's exaggerated in the media, Christians share the Muslims' concerns if not their solution.
Balance. I was bothered at first by the statistical improbability of all the Muslim terrorists: most Muslims are at most sympathetic to terrorists. Yet Clemons makes this point himself as the story progresses; if anything, his average Muslims are less supportive of terror than real-world models suggest. Still, it's helpful to counterbalance the "Muslim = terrorist" idea that Christians can pick up.
Mohamed. The would-be terrorist is a surprisingly sympathetic character, though initially somewhat odious, and his development pretty much is the story. Although Matthew and Layla do have their own sections, it's Mohamed who gets the larger and more memorable parts, which is as it should be: he's really the strongest character.
Reality check. One feature that I did not like but admit is likely true involves Christians in Muslim lands. Clemons doesn't portray them as super-saints; they flee a lot, and they may decide to hole up and save their own necks now and then instead of doing the heroic thing. I prefer giving role models, but Clemons's picture is quite probable, annoying as I find it.
Tune in tomorrow for the weak points of Mohamed's Moon.
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