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  • Writer's pictureDavid L. Thompson

Can You Name the Terrorists (or are they Freedom Fighters)?

The character in the Caliphate Trilogy which captured the hearts and minds of most women readers has been the main villain, a terrorist named Mustafa Suleyman. Mustafa wasn't your typical terrorist, however. While he certainly had blood on his hands, he often prayed for his victims and regretted a world that made his actions necessary. Why? Because Mustafa believed that the ends always justified the means, and when the ends were noble, then so must have been the means. And he felt that breaking the endless cycle of violence and hatred in the Middle East was certainly an end worthy of using almost any means.


So - any idea who I had in mind when I created Mustafa Suleyman? It isn't so much about Mustafa's personality as it is about his 'career path'. To determine who he has been fashioned after, let's look at the character arc for Mustafa. He was a terrorist in Dark Harvest, but became a statesman in Smoke Over Baghdad and remains a statesman in the Caliphate's third book.


I probably need to clarify one point. Mustafa Suleyman's character wasn't fashioned from a single historical figure - he was actually a blend of two different people who were at one time sworn enemies. Both men were considered heroes by some and terrorists by others, and both eventually became statesmen, dealing with each other over the negotiation table rather than at the end of a gun.


Can you name the two historical figures that contributed to Mustafa Suleyman's character arc? I'll post the answer next week when I write a little bit about Abu Ishaaq al-Madani and who he was fashioned after. So stay tuned...



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