Globalization, the war on terror, and Islamic fundamentalism -followed closely by a rise in Islamophobia -have escalated tensions between Western nations and the Muslim world. Yet internationally renowned Islamic scholar Akbar Ahmed believes that through dialogue and understanding, these cultures can coexist peacefully and respectfully. That hope and belief result in an extraordinary journey. To learn what Muslims think and how they really view America, Ahmed traveled to the three major regions of the Muslim world the Middle East, South Asia, and East Asia. Journey into Islam: The Crisis of Globalization is the riveting story of his search for common ground. His absorbing narrative and personal photos bring the reader on a tour of Islam and its peoples. Ahmed sought to understand the experiences and perceptions of ordinary Muslims. Visiting mosques, madrassahs, and universities, he met with people ranging from Pakastan President Pervez Musharraf to prime ministers, princes, sheikhs, professors, and students. He observed, listened, and asked them questions. For example, who inspires them? What are they reading? How do the Internet and international media impact their lives? How do they view America, the West, and changes in society? Ahmed's anthropological expedition enjoyed extensive access to women and youths, revealing unique information on large yet often misunderstood populations. Lamentably, he found high levels of anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism and a widespread perception that Islam is under attack from the West. But he also brought back reason for hope. He returned from his groundbreaking travels both impressed with the concerned, kind nature of the individuals he encountered and invigorated with the vitality and passion they displayed. Journey into Islam makes a powerful plea for forming friendships across religion, race, and tradition to create lasting peace between Islam and the West.
Publisher: Brookings Institution
Number of pages: 300
Weight: 612 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 25 mm
"Akbar Ahmed's voice needs to be heard, and his courage strengthened." --Elie Wiesel, Nobel Peace Laureate "In Journey into Islam: The Crisis of Globalization [Ahmed] invites us to listen to the many voices of Muslims today as they face a confusing and often threatening world. It is essential reading, wise, literate, insightful, optimistic, honest and humane, the work of one of the great religious sages of our time." --Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi of Britain and the Commonwealth "A fascinating personal account of his travels last year into the heart of Islam, spanning the Middle East, South Asia, and East Asia. Through in-depth discussions with high-level officials and religious figures as well as ordinary people, Ahmed offers a nuanced picture of a complex world that alternatively fears and misunderstands America." --Juliana Geran Pilon, World Politics Review, 5/31/2007 "Akbar Ahmed's Journey into Islam is, no doubt, a labour of love. Akbar has made a sterling contribution to the inescapable need for a rational, cool and un-phlegmatic dialogue between the denizens of the Islamic world and their western detractors. His is a voice of reason and rationality." --Karamatullah K. Ghori, DAWN Books & Authors, 5/13/2007 "A deeply moral work, informed by profound commitment to universal values of knowledge, justice, and compassion, all of which work to confirm Ahmed's position as preeminent Muslim public intellectual. Ultimately, a generous and empowering work which allows the kind of understanding that is transformative, Journey into Islam is as an extraordinary venture for its readers as it was for the students involved in its making." --Tamara Sonn, College of William & Mary, Emel Magazine " Journey into Islam is not only a treasure chest of information for the specialist and non-specialist alike: it is also a how-to manual on fostering peace and mutual respect...a penetrating analysis of relations between America and the Islamic world." --Omar Sacirbey, Religion News Service, 6/19/2007 "A deep and penetrating look at the Islamic world through the prism of history, both current and remote." --S. Amjad Hussain, Toledo Blade, 7/8/2007 " Journey into Islam is not only a treasure chest of information for the specialist and non-specialist alike: it is also a how-to manual on fostering peace and mutual respect. The book stands in a category by itself. It is refreshingly devoid of specialist terminology, eloquently written, and should be essential reading for anyone interested in making the world a better place." --Khaleel Mohammed, The Star, 6/30/2007 "An insightful book." --Ziauddin Sardar, The Independent, 6/1/2007 "Washington policy-makers and journalists should read this book." --Tony Blankley, Washington Times, 6/20/2007 "Professor Akbar Ahmed has written a book of extraordinary insight. There are few people in the world with such an intimate understanding of America, Europe and Islam. Equally there are few who have the experience and knowledge to interpret the one to the other. This is a book which exposes the full seriousness of current tensions but one which is full of hope because it not only deepens understanding but charts a better way. I am delighted that he will be in the United Kingdom sharing his wisdom. Politicians, Faith, and Community Leaders will benefit greatly from his perceptive analysis and his constructive proposals." -- Lord Bishop James Jones, 5/1/2007 "I started reading Dr. Akbar Ahmed's new book Journey into Islam yesterday and have not been able to put it down! The book is so eloquently written and beautifully explained...it brought tears to my eyes." --Blair Mersinger, Pakistan Link, 6/5/2007 " Journey into Islam is an incredible book with an incredible experiment that you under[took] with a group of students you [took] around the world." --Leon Harris, Capital Sunday, 6/1/2007 "Pull[s] together history, politics, religious scholarship and personal narrative into a coherent framework which can counter the force of inevitability with the power of possibility." --Eboo Patel, On Faith, blog from Washington Post & Newsweek, 6/4/2007 "Akbar Ahmed takes us on a passionate and ambitious journey towards understanding the contemporary Muslim world." --Tasleem Shakur, Times Higher Education Supplement, 9/21/2007 "This book is a break-through in our understanding of the complex relationship between globalization and Islam... an essential resource for anyone interested in some of the key questions of our time, concerning not just the role of Islam in world society, but differing concepts of religiosity." --Lord Anthony Giddens, House of Lords and former director, London School of Economics "A fascinating account of how he and his students braved danger to build mutual understanding in Pakistan, India, Syria, Jordan, Turkey, Qatar, Malaysia and Indonesia." -- Publishers Weekly, 2/12/2007 "the most important book published this year on the topic of avoiding a clash of civilizations...This is an important book about the possibility of building bridges and the hope that change is possible with dialogue and mutual understanding...This book should be in the library of every mosque in the U.S. and a dialogue topic in every interfaith dialogue group. It should also be read and carefully and acted upon by politicians and diplomats." --Sheila Musaji, The American Muslim, 6/28/2007 "When I finished Akbar Ahmed's Journey into Islam: The Crisis of Globalization, I wanted to shout from the San Juan mountaintops that everyone has to read this book. I can't remember when I learned so much about a topic that I thought, mistakenly, I already knew about." --Barbara Meade, 8/10/2007 "This book is an indispensable source for those who want to learn about new trends impacting the Muslim world." -- The Financial Express, 10/28/2007 "Imbued with extraordinary wisdom and compassion." -- Biblio: A Review of Books (India), 9/1/2007 " Journey into Islam offers a role each one of us can personally play to catalyze peace, understanding and hope in the world. Listen to his voice today. Read this book!" -- OurVoicesTogether.com, 4/26/2007 " Journey into Islam is an informative primer on Islamic history, an astute diplomatic analysis of US-Islamic relations over the last century and a deeply personal journal." -- Council for a Parliament of the World's Religions "Ahmed's latest work takes a deep and penetrating look at the Islamic world through the prism of history, both current and remote." -- Decan Herald, 11/18/2007 "A marvellous, moving, sobering, troubling, and compelling insight into a religion which is scarcely out of the media limelight." --Alan Race, Pakistan Link, 11/9/2007 "Intellectually engaging and passionately written... Journey into Islam is an informative primer on Islamic history, an astute analysis of U.S. relations with the Islamic world over the last century and the deeply personal journal of the man the BBC calls 'the world's best-known scholar on contemporary Islam'." -- The Christian Century "A profoundly personal and moving analysis of the anguish and ideological deformations through which the Islamic world is currently passing. Journey into Islam is a spiritual Odyssey reaching far back into Professor Ahmed's own past while detailing his dreams for the Muslim world of today and tomorrow." -- Middle East Policy "Should be a must read for any person wishing to get a deep understanding of the current confrontation between the Islamic and Western worlds... Ahmed's book is not just a treasure chest of information; it is also a how-to manual of fostering peace and mutual respect. Would that Journey into Islam were essential reading for every government official, every university researcher, and every person interested in learning about Islam and finding a recipe for peaceful coexistence." --Khaleel Mohammed, Islamic Studies "In this day and age, with alliances between countries constantly being built only to be broken, with the waging of wars in dozens of nations, and most importantly with the spread of globalization, there has arisen a dire need for understanding and resolution across the globe and Akbar Ahmed provides just such a solution for the tensions between the United States and the Middle East in his book Journey into Islam... [It] is informative and thought provoking no matter what one's race, religion, nationality, or political views." -- Reason & Respect: A Journal of Civil Discourse "[An] excellent book. Highly recommended." --Elizabeth Agnvall, Star-Telegram "Those seeking an illustrative examination of the relationship between Islam and globalization in an international milieu often beset by misunderstandings will find this book a useful tool in examining important questions as well as answers about Islam today." -- Round Table "A fascinating personal account of his travels last year into the heart of Islam, spanning the Middle East, South Asia, and East Asia. Through in-depth discussions with high-level officials and religious figures as well as ordinary people, Ahmed offers a nuanced picture of a complex world that alternately fears and misunderstands America, yet seems eager to engage with us if give a chance." -- World Politics Review "Grounded in history, inclusive in its understanding of volatile interfaith religious issues, Journey into Islam is a cornerstone book, a reflective, economically written work for those who would engage in the interfaith journey." --Frederick Quinn, Anglican Theological Review