Professor Akbar Ahmed to host Spread Hummus not Hate rally at American University, Thursday, October 20



Journey into Europe to screen at George Mason University Thurs. Oct. 27, 7:30pm


Cutting the study of Islam a mistake – Harrison Akins, Knoxville News Sentinel

Do you daily use soap, shampoo, toothpaste, a toothbrush, coffee, a clock, a camera, a fountain pen? Did you study algebra, chemistry or the scientific method at a university? Do you own a guitar or magnifying glasses in your home?

If your answer is yes to any of these, you have Islamic civilization to thank, from which all of these inventions and scientific disciplines, plus many more, were developed during the medieval period.

Islamic civilization shaped our ideas of modern education (the first university was founded in Fez, Morocco, in 859 AD, over 200 years before the first university appeared in Europe); modern medicine (public hospitals structured around wards with trained staff physicians and surgeons using precise surgical instrumentation and science as the basis of their practice originated in Baghdad in the 9th century); and philosophy (Ancient Greek philosophy was revived and interpreted by Islamic philosophers in Muslim-ruled Spain).

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“Lights, Camera, Action!” – The University of Tennessee Department of Political Science

Although he just completed his first year in our PhD program, Harrison Akins is already having a significant impact on a very timely issue: Muslim communities of Europe.
Graduate Student spotlight: Harrison Akins (right) with Ambassador Ahmed (left) and former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams (center) in Cambridge during fieldwork in the UK.

 Harrison Akins, a PhD student in our department, served as the associate producer and director of cinematography for the documentary film, Journey into Europe, which he presented to the Southeast Regional Middle East and Islamic Studies Seminar Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy April 16, 2016.

The film, which has also been screened worldwide, is part of a larger project by Ambassador Akbar Ahmed, the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University and former Pakistan Ambassador to the UK and Ireland, examining the history and contemporary challenges of the Muslim communities of Europe. Relying on fieldwork in ten European countries over a two-year period, Ambassador Ahmed and his research team, including Akins, who served as the Ibn Khaldun Chair Research Fellow prior to beginning his PhD, examined controversial issues surrounding the European Muslim communities including Sharia law, terrorism, the building of mosques, female dress, and the pressures of immigration and multiculturalism. The Stiftung Mercator Foundation of Germany, the British Council USA, and American University’s School of International Service provided support and funding for the project.

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Ambassador Ahmed appears on the DC Night Show with Frank Islam


Journey into Europe to screen as part of Chai Time in Potomac, MD Sunday Oct. 2 at 2pm


Journey into Europe to air on Next TV

For more information, visit the Next TV Facebook page.


Journey into Europe to screen on Capitol Hill Wed. Sept. 28 at 1pm



Journey into Europe to screen at Texas Christian University Wed. Oct. 5 at 6:30pm



Journey into Europe to screen in West Lafayette, IN on Thurs., Sept. 22 at 6pm