Before Ali Eteraz was born, his father promised Allah that if his child was a boy that child would “become a great leader and servant of Islam.” Eteraz’s parents named him Abir ul Islam which translates to “perfume of Islam.” As a child living in Pakistan, Eteraz didn’t have much desire to follow his parents’ plans; but later they move to America and things change for Eteraz. He wants to follow the religious teachings, but he’s also interested in girls and sexual contact is forbidden. The online world ends up providing an outlet. Eteraz has some great descriptions in this part of how he tried to hide from his parents the screeching sound of AOL starting.
A few years later, Eteraz goes to college. He moves from one religious extremity to another during his early adult life and undergoes a name change before emphasizing his birth name in order to convince others to follow his instructions. This period is then followed by the name he currently uses; he became Ali Eteraz when he became a reformist. Tragically, Eteraz lost his family and some friends when he became so passionate about reformation.
Children of Dust is really a remarkable story written so that even someone totally unfamiliar with Islamic teachings can understand. I was impressed with Eteraz’s writing; he described places I’ve never been vividly enough that I could picture them.