A wake-up call – Joseph Marcus, The Friday Times

Islamophobia and xenophobia are on the rise in the West. Joseph Marcus reviews a film that tries to explain why

Bernie Sanders recently offered the most frank explanation for the spread of racism, Islamophobia and xenophobia. We are pitted against each other, he said, when most people really just want the same things. I have seen the rise in racism, Islamophobia and xenophobia, and I am forced to ask myself how have I helped stem its tide?

On October 22, 2015, nearly 200 people crammed into the School of International Service on the American University (AU) campus to watch Ambassador Akbar S. Ahmed’s last film. Akbar S. Ahmed, Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at the American University and former Pakistani High Commissioner to the UK and Ireland, spent months with his research team traversing Europe to understand the complex role and influences Islam has had in both historic and contemporary Europe.  The efforts of their research resulted in an extraordinary film, “Journey into Europe”.

The film screening on the AU campus brought together distinguished community members, academics, and students from around the Washington DC area. James Goldgeier, Dean of the School of International Service at AU, introduced and praised the film for its interdisciplinary approach, acknowledging that the film will help people understand the dynamics in Europe. Even diplomats from the Spanish and German embassies in Washington attended the screening.

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