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  • Writer's pictureDavid L. Thompson

One More For You To Identify

Updated: Aug 4, 2023



The last two posts in this series discussed the 'inspiration' behind the character Mustafa Suleyman. In this blog post, I would like to talk about another character. This character first appeared in the second book of the Caliphate trilogy - Smoke Over Baghdad and his name is Abu Ishaaq al-Madani. To reflect how complex this character is, he is often referred to in the books by his pseudonym, the Black Imam.


Spoiler Alert: I'm going to give away just a bit of the text in the third (yet to be published) book where I describe the appearance of this villain.


"Abu Ishaaq al-Madani, wearing black leather shoes, black robes and a black turban covering all but a single tuft of black hair in the middle of his forehead, entered the room. His face, pock-marked as a child, was partially obscured behind a long black beard. It was his eyes, however, that totally dominated his appearance. They were dark, piercing eyes, eyes that seemed almost devoid of emotion. Hollow eyes. Vacant eyes - like the eyes of a heroin junkie after mainlining a near-lethal dose of Hell Dust."


As with Mustafa Suleyman, I fashioned this character after someone who dominated international headlines for quite some time. And while the actual individual may not have shared the same personality characteristics as al-Madani, this man certainly struck me as a true villain. There are, of course, others who may have considered him to be a hero, but those people have paid a significant price for that belief.


Can you guess who I was thinking about when I created the character Abu Ishaaq al-Madani? I'll pass along the answer in the next blog post.




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