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Journey Into Islam: The Crisis of Globalization
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Journey Into Islam: The Crisis of Globalization

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  77 ratings  ·  15 reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 323 pages
Published May 7th 2007 by Brookings Institution Press (first published January 1st 2007)
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Ahmed takes three research students on a trip to the widest possible variety of Islamic nations to very liberal communities and to very traditionalist and hard line communities. His students are a white man, an Islamic girl and a blond, white Christian girl. All of them are very aware of the cultures they are visiting and are scrupulous in observing correct forms of dress and behaviour in each situation.

His commentary on the history and beliefs of the people they meet intersperses with actual en
I found this book through a recommendation on the Colbert Report in 2010. It is an anthropological study of the Islamic world. Akbar Ahmed and his team traveled to the 4 main centers of Islamic culture to survey the feelings and thoughts people had about their cultural heritage, the future, and Western society. I would recommend this book highly especially to those who grew up outside of a Muslim culture. The insightfulness and empathy was evident to me. It was a very interesting read; I found i ...more
I want to like this book. The American audience needs more books and movies that portray Muslims as something beyond the terrorist stereotype, that hint at the complexity and depth of Islam and the many cultures it encompasses.

While my primary reason for reading Journey into Islam was to gain a deeper understanding of Islam, I also wanted to find a book I could politely recommend when people veered towards xenophobic hysteria over cocktails.

I'm still looking. Let me be clear: this is by no mean
Scholarly work of anthropology/history by a professor of Pakistani descent who teaches at an American university. He takes a trip through the Islamic world with several of his students, and returns with an analysis of the problems in the Islamic world.

He discusses three "models" of Muslim life: Westernized/modernized, Sufi/mystical, and Salafist. He talks about how each of the models have affected Muslims in various parts of the world. He particularly dwells on the present day failings of the W
Aug 08, 2007 k8inorbit marked it as to-read
politics & prose rec:

"When I finished Akbar Ahmed's JOURNEY INTO ISLAM: The Crisis of Globalization, I wanted to shout it 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. Setting out on a journey through many Islamic nations, Ahmed made it his goal to interview and learn from Muslims throughout Islam about their fears and their aspirations, and in this volume he shares t
Very educational and timely. He journeyed to a number of Muslim countries with 2 or 3 of his students and tried to take the pulse and temperature of a huge very complex group of believers. The book has contradictions as do most of us and certainly religions. Recommended for those whose life takes them into contact with Muslims in this country or elsewhere. Not a book with answers but a good starting point for Americans. This is only one of many books to read to explore the topic of Globalization ...more
While the author is anecdotal and not always as focused as I would like, I enjoyed this book - it has a powerful message.
I know this book gets great ratings, and I think I would personally like Prof. Ahmed, but his writing is a mixture of good information, profound insight, and bad analysis. He just cannot objectively assess his enemy. He gives straw men arguments along the lines of "all Americans hate Arabs" and cites hateful shock jock radio DJs and ANNE COULTER as evidence. How many people do you know who think Anne Coulter speaks for them. In short, it's my impression that he understands the Islamic world much ...more
Ken Moten
Akbar Ahmed's study of Islamic countries in this book is a very powerful, honest, and critical guide to understanding our world today. This book offers a anthropological look at the state of the Muslim world after and directly before 9/11 and it is given a very compassionate and heart felt critique of what the West and the countries themselves are doing right and/or wrong. This book, while scholarly is done with love and I think the information gleaned out of this book will serve to help us all ...more
I keep thinking about this book Akbar Ahmed is a professor living in the States who is of Indian/Pakistani background and is Muslim. He takes a few students to several Muslim countries for a "cultural exchange". He and the students are learning about Muslim role models and how people abroad view Americans- and are answering questions while they are there. I learned a lot about the different "schools of thought" within the Muslim world and several of the anecdotes from their journey touched me to ...more
Pradeep Thakur
The best book to read about changing Muslim world by a Muslim, through out the ages in brief and the present mindset. Rejecting stereotypes and "conventional wisdom" about Islam and its encounter with globalization, this important book offers a new framework for understanding the Muslim world. As Western leaders wage a war on terrorism, Ahmed offers insightful suggestions on how the United States can improve relations with Islamic nations and peoples.
Jonathan Lu
Pretty accurate depiction of the western world's highly prejudiced and lacking they of islam today. Surprisingly uninsightful especially as compared to mortimer's fate of islam written 30 years earlier. Towards the latter chapters Ahmed lets hints of narcissism shine through, though he clearly is an expert that we should be listening to.
I had to read this book for a class. I really recommend this book. It is a little hard to read but an excellant book. It gives a really good look at many forms of Islam practiced and make one understand the religion as a whole and not just what the media and the government wants you to believe.
An anthropological book on Islam. Very, very informative. There is so much to learn about the many different cultures within Islam. To clump all Muslims into one group is as dangerous as thinking all Christians think, believe, and behave the same way.
This is such a wonderful work. And just the point of view we've been waiting for. The Globalist called it the best book of the year.
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