Journey into Europe: Islam, Immigration, and Identity
A Conversation with Akbar Ahmed
Since 9/11, repeated episodes of terrorism, together with the refugee crisis, have dramatically increased the divide between the Muslim communities and the majority non-Muslim populations in Europe. Meanwhile, 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.
Akbar Ahmed and his team of researchers traveled across Europe for three years and interviewed Muslims and non-Muslims from all walks of life to investigate questions of Islam, immigration, and identity. Their findings reveal a complex story of the place of Islam in European history and civilization and expose both the misunderstandings and the opportunities for European countries and populations to improve their relationship with minority Muslim communities. Along with an analysis of what has gone wrong and why, Ahmed will offer recommendations for promoting integration and pluralism in the twenty-first century.
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The Woolf Institute is delighted to host the launch of Professor Akbar Ahmed’s book, Journey into Europe: Islam, Immigration and Identity on Thursday 17 May 2018 between 5.00pm and 7.00pm.
Ambassador 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 United Kingdom and Ireland. He has been called “the world’s leading authority on contemporary Islam” by the BBC. Ahmed has authored more than a dozen award-winning books and has produced a number of noteworthy films. His most recent book, Journey into Europe: Islam, Immigration, and Identity (2018), completes an unprecedented quartet of studies examining relations between the West and the Muslim world. He is also a published poet and playwright.
Since the Cambridge launch of Journey into Europe takes place over Ramadan, the Woolf Institute will host the launch as part of an Iftar to ensure that Muslim attendees can also eat after evening falls. The Iftar will start around 8.30-8.45 and the Institute’s ‘Quiet Space’ will be made available for prayers.
According to Dr Ed Kessler, “The 17th May event with Prof Akbar Ahmed will be an auspicious occasion as it combines the launch of an important book on Muslims in Europe and is the Woolf Institute’s first Iftar. We hope it will prove to be an attractive occasion for Muslims and non-Muslims alike”.
The Journey into Europe film can be viewed here.
The pre-release flier for the book is available to download here.
For any further information, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org\
For more information and to register, please click here.
Journey into Europe: Islam, Immigration, and Identity by Amb. Akbar Ahmed
Thu, March 22, 2018, 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM EDT
Please join Ambassador Akbar Ahmed as he discusses his new book, Journey into Europe: Islam, Immigration, and Identity. The fourth in a quartet of studies examining relations between the West and the Muslim world, Journey into Europe explores Islam in Europe and the place of Islam in European history and civilization on the basis of fieldwork spanning the length and breadth of the continent.
In reflecting on the book, Professor Lawrence Rosen of Princeton University writes, “Ahmed’s splendid blend of scholarship and reportage is unmatched in the literature.” Professor Todd Green of Luther College, writing for the American Academy of Religion, calls the book “a masterpiece … magisterial … a tremendous and timely contribution.”
Moderated by: Professor Tamara Sonn, Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani Professor of the History of Islam, Georgetown University
Discussant: Rabbi M. Bruce Lustig, Senior Rabbi, Washington Hebrew Congregation
Abramson Family Founders Room, School of International Service
To register, please click here.
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How best to deal with Islamophobia in the US today?
I glimpsed the answer on February 7, 2018, when I accompanied Ambassador
Akbar Ahmed, the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University, to
Knoxville, Tennessee, where he became the first Muslim to deliver the prestigious Ashe Lecture at the Howard H. Baker, Jr. Center for Public Policy at the University of Tennessee. The center is named after Howard Baker, who served as a US Senator from Tennessee, President Ronald Reagan’s Chief of Staff, and US Ambassador to Japan. The talk was arranged by my good friend Harrison Akins, a doctoral student and researcher at the Baker Center who previously worked with Ahmed. Understanding the current negative climate concerning Muslims, the widespread common misperceptions of Islam and Muslims, and the fear evident in the Muslim community with rising incidents of violence and intimidation, I was curious how an East Tennessee audience would react to a Muslim scholar.
To continue reading, please click the following link: PL – Pakistan Link – February 16, 2018 – PAGE 19
“I hope that Journey into Europe: Islam, Immigration, and Identity, by Akbar Ahmed, will come to be recognized as not only a superb piece of reportage and analysis, but also an authentic application of the ethnographic method to a much larger canvas than anthropologists normally feel comfortable with. Ahmed makes the case so well that all people involved in the present crisis of Europe, especially those in leadership positions, have a share of responsibility in helping to make a better world.”
– Jonathan Benthall, Former Director of the Royal Anthropological Institute and Founder Editor of Anthropology Today
In a silent and quite grainy black and white film clip showing members of the extended British royal family lined up for a photograph, one is struck by the overpowering dazzle and opulence of the jewels worn by the women. The scene is from the early part of the last century and the jewels are undoubtedly the spoils of empire. Another scene, one that Anthropologists and popular-culture buffs alike are familiar with, and one that is illustrative of why Akbar Ahmed’s Journey into Europe is an absolute must-read, appears in chapter one of his book: “Decked out in khaki shorts, knee socks, and solar topees, clutching binoculars, notebooks, and tape recorders, and suitably inoculated against deadly tropical diseases, they (Anthropologists of the colonial era) disembarked on the Pacific Islands or headed into the Amazon rainforest or the African hinterland. We, too, ventured forth to do our fieldwork; only our destination was Europe itself.”
As Noam Chomsky has noted, Ahmed’s study, which takes into account things such as Europe’s ‘primordial tribal identity’ as well as the deep-rooted effects of Western imperialism, in addition to the flux of immigrants from former colonies- in order to study contemporary dynamics between communities of Muslims and the European countries they call home, reverses the traditional paradigm in the social sciences (“in this case, not Europeans studying African and Asian societies but an Asian author examining Europe”). This, in my view, provides the long-awaited necessary corrective, the radical shift in connotations derived from Imperialist attitudes and agendas, coining, finally, a language without which neither academic discourse nor artistic representation can be fair or go far, one that may finally make it possible to have balanced, nuanced perspectives on subjects relevant to Islam and the West.
To continue reading, click here.
In today’s rapidly globalizing world, there are many political, social and cultural shifts taking place. For instance, the last decade has seen an increase in the population of Muslim immigrants in Europe. While many believe that this is a new and recent trend, there has been an historic presence of Islamic culture and influence in Europe for centuries. How has the history of Islam in Europe had an influence on European culture? Can an understanding of this history help address some of the issues that Europe is facing today?
Join the World Affairs Council-Washington, DC as we host Ambassador Akbar Ahmed, author of “Journey into Europe: Islam, Immigration and Identity” , to discuss the history of Islam in Europe and the effects of this history in the present day. Ambassador Ahmed is currently the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University in Washington, D.C.
6:00pm-6:45pm Reception and Registration
PLEASE NOTE WE WILL BE IN THE HEMISPHERE SUITES.
We are unfortunately unable to provide books for purchase at the event. Books however can be pre-purchased and picked up at the registration table.
This program brought in sponsorship with
DATE AND TIME
Tue, March 13, 2018
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM EDT
Hemisphere Suites, Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest
Washington, DC 20004
To RSVP, please visit the Eventbrite page here.
I salute Ambassador Akbar Ahmed, whom I have known for three decades as a warrior for peace, for the publication of his new book, Journey into Europe: Islam, Immigration, and Identity, particularly as he has written and released it in a time when the world grapples with great political, social, and religious challenges. Discussing relations between Europe and the East and the importance of building understanding between both cultures and faiths, the book is a breath of fresh air. It consists of more than 500 pages which have the power to create harmony and understanding. This book has not only been endorsed by the top scholars, but also by some of the great spiritual leaders of our time. It is not just a journey into Europe, but a journey into peace. I thoroughly recommend people not only buy this book, but when they read it try to act on and reflect its message, because each one of us has a role to play in building a more peaceful, harmonious world. I congratulate Ambassador Ahmed and his wonderful team of young scholars for this great accomplishment, and I salute Ambassador Ahmed for dedicating his life to building bridges of understanding.
-Councillor Dr. James Shera MBE, S.Pk, former Mayor of Rugby