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Journey Into Europe

Islam, Immigration, and Identity

Akbar Ahmed (author)

ISBN: 9780815727583

Publication Date: Feb 2018

Format: Hardback

Offers a richly detailed, and clear-eyed exploration of Islam in Europe and the place of Islam in European history and civilization. Along with an analysis of what has gone wrong and why, this urgent, unprecedented study, the fourth in a quartet of studies examining relations between the West and the Muslim world, features recommendations for promoting integration and pluralism in the twenty-first century.
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An unprecedented, richly detailed, and clear-eyed exploration of Islam in Europe and the place of Islam in European history and civilization.

Daily headlines tell of escalating tensions surrounding Muslims in Europe: the refugee crisis, repeated episodes of terrorism, and cultural differences over language and female dress have helped shape a growing rift between the communities, while the parallel rise of right-wing, nationalist political parties throughout the continent, often espousing anti-Muslim rhetoric, has shaken the foundation of the European Union to its very core.

Over the past decade, the relationship between European and Islamic societies has been defined by steadily escalating tension. Many Europeans see Islam as an alien, even barbaric force that threatens to overwhelm them and their societies. Muslims, by contrast, are facing conflicting attractions to Europe's economic opportunities and repulsion to intolerance in the region, with Islamophobia reaching extreme levels in all corners of Europe. Amid this conflict, the Jewish community and other minority groups are finding themselves caught in a similar onslaught of xenophobic rhetoric, with anti-Semitism and other forms of discrimination causing many to feel unwelcome in their European homes.

Akbar Ahmed, widely acknowledged as a leading scholar of contemporary Islam, and a team of researchers have traveled across Europe over the last several years and interviewed Muslims and non-Muslims from all walks of life. They spoke with some of Europe's most prominent figures, including presidents and prime ministers, archbishops, chief rabbis, grand muftis, heads of right-wing parties, and every-day Europeans from a variety of backgrounds. Their findings reveal both of the misunderstandings and the opportunities for Europe and its Muslims to improve their mutual relationship. Along with an analysis of what has gone wrong and why, this urgent, unprecedented study, the fourth in a quartet of studies examining relations between the West and the Muslim world, features recommendations for promoting integration and pluralism in the twenty-first century.

Reviews

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

Akbar Ahmed has a well-earned reputation as one of the most balanced, learned and original interpreters of Islam in its engagement with the non-Muslim world. It is hard to exaggerate the importance of this work, like so much else he has done, at a time when myths and fantasies still stir up corporate fear between our communities. A deeply welcome and thoroughly professional study
–Dr. Rowan Williams, Former Archbishop of Canterbury and Master of Magdalene College, University of Cambridge

Akbar Ahmed's profound and careful inquiries have greatly enriched our understanding of Islam in the modern world. His latest study, based on direct research with a group of young scholars, explores the complex interfaith reality of Europe, both in history and today, from an Eastern perspective, reversing the familiar paradigm. It is sure to be yet another influential contribution, one greatly needed in a world riven by conflicts and misunderstanding.
–Professor Noam Chomsky, Institute Professor & Professor of Linguistics (Emeritus), Massachusetts Institute of Technology

"This highly instructive work deserves careful attention as people across the world wrestle with how to balance community with difference in an age of reinvigorated tribalism."
Publishers Weekly

"A dense but rewarding anthropological account of European reactions to Islam and Muslim immigrant communities, and vice versa. . . . Academic but of considerable interest to any student of current affairs and geopolitics."
Kirkus Reviews

"At various times a travelogue, a popular history, and a sociopolitical text, Journey into Europe is a good resource for those wanting a crash course on modern European thought in regard to Islam and Islamic immigration."
–Benjamin Welton, Foreword Reviews

"Ahmed's splendid blend of scholarship and reportage is unmatched in the literature. Like his study of America, the readers will also perhaps think they know the local situation when it is exactly by revealing much that is below the surface for which Ahmed's contribution is so vital. In the context of a series of elections now taking place in Europe that depend in no small part on the image of the Muslim migrant, this timely study is, like Ahmed's other ventures, an indispensable accompaniment to any policy conversation. The Brookings Institution Press should take great pride in having facilitated this series and take special pride in its latest addition."
–Lawrence Rosen, Cromwell Professor of Anthropology, Princeton University

"Ambassador Akbar Ahmed stands out among the global thinkers and leaders working to illuminate the way in our darkening landscape. His latest project on Muslims in Europe is yet another illustration of his vision by offering us understanding of, commitment to, and hope and compassion for humanity."
–Haris Silajdi, former Chairman of the Presidency and Prime Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina

"Ahmed, a renowned Pakistani scholar and diplomat, gathered a team of researchers to interview Muslims across Europe about their situation. "This, I felt, was Europe's ticking time bomb," he says. In her review, Atossa Araxia Abrahamian writes: "The fundamental message of Journey Into Europe is that throughout history, Islamic and European civilizations have often been not just compatible, but complementary. It's crucial to acknowledge their shared past to reject today's resurgent tribalism." - New York Times

"Overall, this is an important book, which contains a wealth of fascinating detail, both historical and contemporary, on an issue that is of critical importance to Europe's future. It impresses with its noble spirit and intentions, as well as with its close, unshrinking look at what are often ugly truths." – Survival, 60.6 (2018)
Pages 592
Dimensions 229 x 152
Date Published 28 Feb 2018
Publisher Brookings Institution Press
Subject/s Islam   European history   Political science & theory   Islamic studies   CR UACES 2020   
Akbar Ahmed is the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University in Washington, D.C and the former Pakistani High Commissioner to the UK and Ireland. He has served as a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and was the first Distinguished Chair of Middle East and Islamic Studies at the U.S Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. He has also taught at Harvard, Princeton, and Cambridge universities.

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