Thursday Night: A Conversation with Akbar Ahmed

A Conversation with Akbar Ahmed: Journey into America: The Challenge of Islam

September 9, 2010 | 06:00PM

Bunn Intercultural Center (ICC) Auditorium, Georgetown University

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Sally Quinn, founder of the Washington Post’s On Faith page, will moderate this conversation.

The most comprehensive study ever done on the American Muslim community, Journey into America explores and documents how Muslims are fitting into U.S. society, seeking to place the Muslim experience in the U.S. within the larger context of American identity. Scholar Akbar Ahmed and his team of young researchers traveled through over seventy-five cities across the United States and visited over one hundred mosques. Ahmed illuminates unexplored Muslim-American communities through his pursuit of challenging questions: Can we expect an increase in homegrown terrorism? How do American Muslims of Arab descent differ from those of other origins (e.g. Somali or South Asian)? Why are so many white women converting to Islam? Much like Ahmed’s widely hailed Journey into Islam: The Crisis of Globalization (Brookings, 2007), Journey into America is equal parts anthropological research, listening tour, and travelogue. Whereas the previous book took the reader into homes, schools, mosques, and public places in heavily Muslim nations, Journey into America takes us into the heart of America’s Muslim communities in America. It is essential reading for anyone trying to make sense of America today, especially its Muslim population—the challenges it faces, the challenges it poses, and its prospects for the future.

Sally Quinn, a Washington Post journalist, is the author of several books. She founded and co-moderates the Washington Post’s On Faith page.

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