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Journey into Islam: The Crisis of Globalization

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  106 Ratings  ·  20 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 extr ...more
Hardcover, 323 pages
Published May 7th 2007 by Brookings Institution Press (first published January 1st 2007)
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Aug 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Sabeeha Rehman
Jul 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent assessment of the world of Islam and the role of the United States. Factual, and anthropological. Well constructed and loaded with wisdom.
Aug 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 14, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
Jan 22, 2016 rated it it was ok
In this book, Akbar Ahmed documents the radicalism of the current Muslim world. In an attempt to explain the political currents in the Islamic world to the West, he developed a survey which would document the diverging social models in Muslim countries. Unfortunately, in his travels, he found that, from insular rural madrassas to the most elite secular schools in Karachi, young students of Pakistan (and elsewhere) are praising bin Laden and raging against globalization.

Yet in spite of this Mr. A
Aug 08, 2007 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
Apr 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorite
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
Apr 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Ken Moten
Feb 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 16, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 23, 2008 rated it liked it
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
Pradeep Thakur
Jan 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 11, 2009 rated it liked it
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.
Apr 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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.
Feb 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
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.
Bonnie Samuel
Jun 13, 2015 rated it liked it
A little too academic without having quite the degree of focused analysis I was hoping for. I probably wouldn't recommend this book for someone who is just beginning to learn about Islam and its relationship with the West. This is better for someone who already has a bit of background.
Jan 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Moaffak M.
Feb 03, 2016 rated it liked it
Its really important what Mr. Ahmed did in this book. although this book written for the western readers, but it talks about somethings should muslims -like me- to knew it.
Robin Becht
Feb 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jul 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
While the author is anecdotal and not always as focused as I would like, I enjoyed this book - it has a powerful message.
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Mar 30, 2012
Jasbeer Musthafa
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Nov 13, 2011
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Jul 23, 2012
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Feb 04, 2013
Sivaranjini Anbalagan
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Dec 16, 2014
David Burns
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Mar 01, 2013
Ali Ahsan
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Jul 17, 2014
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“If change is to come-as it must-it needs to be from within an Islamic framework and introduced by Muslims who have credibility within their own society.” 0 likes
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