One of the things I always get asked when I tell people my new book is about Turkmenistan is if Turkmenistan is a Muslim country. It borders on Iran and Afghanistan and like both those countries the majority of Turkmen would claim to be Muslim. Unlike those two countries Turkmenistan was under Soviet rule for most of the twentieth century. There was a strong Russian influence and as a result almost all the men I knew drank. One evening I was drinking vodka with cubes of pork fat for chasers. I asked the men around me whether they were Muslim and they all said yes. I then asked them about the vodka and the pork and they waved their hands and said they were “modern Muslims.”
So Islam really doesn’t come up too often in my book. In fact it’s only mentioned once in the whole story. In this panel and the one that immediately follows it.