Tag Archives: Noam Chomsky

Teasers and bits from the cutting room floor

While researching for the book, we uncovered an enormous amount of information in interviews, on the road and when we were back in the office putting it all together. Fitting it all into a book was a challenge. So we decided to post some of the  really interesting bits of information that we really enjoyed reading and talking about. Some of it is explained further in the book, some had to be left on the cutting room floor due to space constraints. But we didn’t want it to go to  waste  because it is all relevant to American Identity and Islam in America.  So we’ll be using this space to start some conversations and give you a taste of what you may find in the book.

This week: Why did Benjamin Franklin wish the Native Americans were Muslim? and What movie did John Wayne call “the most un-American thing I’ve ever seen in my whole life”?

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Trailer for “Journey into America”

The world premiere of “Journey into America” is premiering on Saturday, July 4th. This feature film will be shown around Washington and throughout the United States.

The film shows Akbar Ahmed in his journey to over 75 cities and 100 mosques asking hundreds of Muslims and non-Muslims what it means to be “American.” From a bishop and an imam in Las Vegas to Somalis in small-town Nebraska to Noam Chomsky in Boston, this is the first film of its kind giving insight into the diverse and closed Muslim community in America and how they are fitting into American society. It ends on the hopeful note of coming together as a nation based on our pluralist identity going back to the Founding Fathers.

Roundup of the first three trips

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We’ve been busy since we took off on September 1: Driving, interviewing, flying, focus group meeting, packing, driving, very little sleeping, taking notes, meetings,  interviewing, speaking, writing, driving, packing…

The travel is relentless and our schedule is grueling. St. Louis; Dearborn; Detroit; Chicago; Cedar Rapids; Omaha; Grand Island, Washington, DC; New York City; Boston; Plymouth Rock,  Burlington; Hamilton and Binghamton, NY; Buffalo; Palmyra, DC; Salt Lake City;  Las Vegas; Flagstaff and a Native American Reservation; San Francisco, Oakland, Silicon Valley; San Diego; Los Angeles; and Honolulu.

At the largest Mosque In New York

At the largest Mosque In New York

But, everyday brings a new highlight. From some of the interviews that we have posted here, to some that we have saved or will post later, we are kept inspired by the people we’ve met along the way. We all have different favorites like Hamza Yusef, Sirraj Wahhaj, Dawud Walid in Dearborn, Imam Feitullah, Noam Chomsky, Judea Pearl, Sherriff Lee Baca. The list could go on and on.

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Interview with Noam Chomsky

In Boston, we had the honor of interviewing Professor Noam Chomsky, the “world’s top intellectual” according to the New York Times. I was extremely excited to meet him because I had studied his work in school and admired his courage for speaking his convictions on the global stage.

 

As I tried to find his office in a perplexing MIT building that appeared as though the fabric of reality had collapsed in on itself, I flashed back to a philosophy class I had taken at American University. The class, “Greatest Minds of the 20th Century” had spent a week on Chomsky’s work. This time we were not in his office to discuss linguistics or his groundbreaking refutation of B.F. Skinner’s work on behavioral psychology (although I did spy two of Skinner’s books on the shelf in Chomsky’s office) but American identity.

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