Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Journey Into America The Challenge Of Islam

A Review by Andrea R. Garrison - Onlinewithandrea

Journey Into America The Challenge Of Islam by Ambassador Akbar Ahmed is a detailed study on how Muslims fit into American communities. Ambassador Ahmed is the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University in Washington, DC. According to The Religious Tolerance Organization and the Pew Forum, “in 2010 it was estimated that there were approximately 1.57 billion Muslims in the world. Muslims in the world represent about 22% of the world’s population and they are the second largest religion in the world and Islam is growing about 2.9% per year which is faster than the world population which is increasing approximately 2.3% annually.” According to Ambassador Ahmed there are nearly 7 million Muslims who live in the United States today and the relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims has been strained since 9/11. What is great about Ambassador Ahmed’s study is that it is comprehensive and it helps to dispel many of the myths while hopefully being a catalyst to stimulate dialogue which will possibly and eventually lead to a greater understanding of what it is like to be Muslim in America. I am sure that Ambassador Ahmed hopes that his work will inspire the reader to go beyond the stereotype and to truly connect person to person heart to heart rather than just viewing every Muslim as a potential terrorist. This impressive project by Ambassador Ahmed and his team also provides a glimpse of the interfaith work that is being done to heal the tension between Muslims and non-Muslims. Ambassador Ahmed makes it clear that it is important that we all work together as a team to create more harmony. Journey Into America is available as a book and a DVD. I also suggest that you also read Ambassador Ahmed’s book Journey Into Islam The Crisis Of Globalization. Ambassador Ahmed and his team traveled extensively in the U.S. and around the world to compile this information in two books and a video. Reading this body of work by Ambassador Ahmed and his team is certainly a great beginning for anyone who is interested in understanding Islam and a great tool for any individual or organization interested in doing interfaith work with Muslims and non-Muslims. For more information on Journey Into America and Journey Into Islam visit www.journeyintoamerica.wordpress.com and www.brookings.edu and listen to the Online With Andrea interview with Ambassador Akbar Ahmed and two members of his research team - Jonathan Hayden and Frankie Martin.

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