Rumi Forum's blog on Hizmet, Fethullah Gulen, peacebuilding, education and interfaith efforts.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Journey into America The Challenge of Islam by Akbar Ahmed - Rumi Forum

In case you missed it, Akbar Ahmed's talk on 'Journey into America' can be seen below. A great conversation on the developing Muslim community in the United States and some suggestions on how things may improve. A definite watch !

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Journey into America The Challenge of Islam by Akbar Ahmed - Rumi Forum
From: RumiForum | October 08, 2010 | 162 views

The most comprehensive study ever done on the American Muslim community, Journey into America explores and documents how Muslims are fitting into U.S. society, seeking to place the Muslim experience in the U.S. within the larger context of American identity. In doing so, it is a major contribution to the study of American history and culture.

Renowned scholar Akbar Ahmed and his team of young researchers traveled through over seventy-five cities across the United States—from New York City to Salt Lake City; from Las Vegas to Miami; from large enclaves such as Dearborn, Michigan, to small towns like Arab, Alabama. They visited over one hundred mosques and visited homes and schools to discover what Muslims are thinking, what they are reading, and how they are living every day in America.

Ahmed illuminates unexplored Muslim-American communities through his pursuit of challenging questions: Can we expect an increase in homegrown terrorism? How do American Muslims of Arab descent differ from those of other origins (e.g. Somali or South Asian)? Why are so many white women converting to Islam? He also delves into the potentially sticky area of relations with other religions. For example, is there truly a deep divide between Muslims and Jews in America? And how well do Muslims get along with other larger religious groups, such as Mormons in Utah?

Much like Ahmed's widely hailed Journey into Islam: The Crisis of Globalization(Brookings, 2007), Journey into America is equal parts anthropological research, listening tour, and travelogue. Whereas the previous book took the reader into homes, schools, mosques, and public places in heavily Muslim nations, Journey into America takes us into the heart of America's Muslim communities in America. It is absolutely essential reading for anyone trying to make sense of America today, especially its Muslim population—the challenges it faces, the challenges it poses, and its prospects for the future.

Ambassador Akbar Ahmed is the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies, American University in Washington DC, the First Distinguished Chair of Middle East and Islamic Studies at the US Naval Academy, Annapolis, and a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. He has taught at Princeton, Harvard, and Cambridge Universities and is considered "the world's leading authority on contemporary Islam" by the BBC. He has advised General David Petraeus, Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, and Secretary Michael Chertoff on Islam and foreign policy. He is regularly interviewed by CNN, CBS, BBC, and Fox News and has appeared several times on the "Oprah Winfrey Show", as well as The Daily Show and The O'Reilly Factor. He is the author of over a dozen award-winning books, including Discovering Islam, which was the basis of the BBC six-part TV series called "Living Islam". His books have been translated into many languages, including Chinese and Indonesian. His most recent book Journey into America: The Challenge of Islam (Brookings Press, 2010), is an unprecedented study based in fieldwork of Muslims in America.