THE DOMESTIC CRUSADERS
You can now download this play for free here.
The Domestic Crusaders focuses on a day in the life of a modern Muslim Pakistani-American family of six eclectic, unique members, who convene at the family house to celebrate the twenty-first birthday of the youngest child.
With a background of 9/11 and the scapegoating of Muslim Americans, the tensions and sparks fly among the three generations, culminating in an intense family battle as each "crusader" struggles to assert and impose their respective voices and opinions, while still attempting to maintain and understand that unifying thread that makes them part of the same family.
To read about Wajahat Ali and the thriving Bay Area Muslim arts scene, check out this New York Times piece.Praise for The Domestic Crusaders:
"This play is brilliant. Moving. Shapely. Clever. Funny."
"Wajahat Ali is writing about contemporary and essential matters, a source not only of laughter but, more importantly, of understanding."
"From the deft irony of its title to the tender pain of its ending, The Domestic Crusaders is a moving story of one Pakistani family in America. But it's more than that. By engaging us in the family's conflicts, loves, fears and secrets, the play dissolves the easy assumptions and prejudices of the post 9/11 West. Touching; funny; important."
—Harriett Gilbert, BBC World Service
"A multi-generational romp through the dynamics of family relationships and post-9/11 America. The characters in Wajahat Ali's funny and biting play spare no one from their sharp barbs—including fellow Muslims. The Domestic Crusaders is what all high art aspires to do—spotlight complicated truths (and contradictions) without offering easy answers. Tension overlaps with comic relief. American pop culture intermingles with Pakistani traditions replanted in the United States. The Domestic Crusaders is a universal story about people whose dreams have carried them to a point of no return. They can't go back to their lives before 9/11. There is only now. Watching them deal with it is to be spellbound from start to finish."
—Jon Curiel, San Francisco Chronicle
"Domestic Crusaders is more than just a work of entertainment. It is also Ali's response to the treatment of Muslims received in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11… it is compelling drama, and there is intergenerational conflict, humor, prejudice, and a dark family secret. The characters, in other words, are not paragons of virtue, which is intentional."
—Ellis Cose, Newsweek
"Consider ‘The Domestic Crusaders' an introduction to a new American Muslim cool—sharp and ironic, funny and deep, running intellectual circles around the idiotic platitudes of bigotry."
—The Accidental Theologist