Encountering Islam’, 12-Segment Program, on Four Audio CDs

The events of September 11 brought the Muslim world into direct confrontation with the West. 19 hijackers not only killed thousands of innocent people, but also created one of the greatest paradoxes of the 21st century: Islam, which sees itself as a religion of peace, is now associated with murder and mayhem.
Islam is the world’s fastest growing religion. About 1.4 billion Muslims live in 57 countries, including 25 million living in the West. Some of America’s strongest allies and greatest enemies are Muslim. In this environment, understanding the World of Islam is not a luxury but an imperative.
What You’ll Explore
In these audio lectures, renowned Islamic scholar Akbar Ahmed introduces you to the Islamic world, an exploration few Westerners have experienced. Islam, argues Professor Ahmed, does not mean the subordination of women, contempt for other religions, opposition to modernity, or violence against non-believers. One can learn to appreciate the beauty, depth, and variety of Islamic tradition by turning to its sources and rich history.
Through this unique lecture series, you’ll explore the life of the Prophet of Islam, and the Qur’an’s five pillars, which govern the beliefs and behavior of Muslims everywhere. Learn how the extraordinary legacies of the great Ottoman, Safavid and Mughal empires influence the present day Arab world, Iran, and South Asia, and explore Islam in other parts of the world. The current Muslim struggle to preserve traditions in an age of globalization and ethnic and religious strife are examined in detail. Professor Ahmed explores all these issues with insight and sympathy, penetrating beyond stereotypes to the realities of Islamic life.
Professor Ahmed offers a message of hope and reconciliation between the West and Islam by leveraging the power of dialogue to build bridges across ethnic, religious, and cultural divides. With dialogue comes knowledge and understanding. This lecture series is essential for anyone hoping to learn more about the Islamic world and its people and to understand the world in which we live.
What other experts say about Ambassador Ahmed:
“[Akbar Ahmed is] one of contemporary Islam's outstanding exponents”
—Sir Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi of the UK
"Encountering Islam - what a fantastic job...Dr. Akbar Ahmed (is) the living legend"
Ashraf M. Abbasi, PhD, Chairman, Pakistani American Congress, Washington, DC

“One of the most distinguished Muslim scholars today…”
—Lord George Carey, former Archbishop of Canterbury
“His voice needs to be heard, and his courage strengthened.”
—Elie Wiesel, Nobel Peace Laureate
Material in this program was adapted from four books by Dr. Ahmed: Islam Under Siege: Living Dangerously in a Post-Honor Word, Polity Press, 2005; Islam Today: A short Introduction to the Muslim World, I.B. Tauris, 1999; Journey Into Islam: The Crisis of Globalization, Brookings Institution Press, 2007; Discovering Islam, Routledge Press, 2002.
Introduction: Encountering Islam The Quran and the Prophet of Islam The Five Pillars of Islam Shia/Sunni Differences and the Sufis of Islam Women in Islam Tribes in Islam The Legacy of Arab Dynasties Andalusia: The Time of Harmony The Three Great Muslim Empires The Muslim World under Western Colonization Modernity and Muslim Leadership Conclusion: The Way Forward.
About the speaker:
Ambassador Akbar Ahmed, Ph.D., Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University in Washington DC, is “the world’s leading authority on contemporary Islam,” according to the BBC. He served as High Commissioner of Pakistan to Great Britain, and his numerous books, films and documentaries have won many awards. Dr. Ahmed is regularly interviewed on CNN, CBC and the BBC and has appeared several times on the Oprah Winfrey show and Night Line. His most recent book, Journey into Islam: The Crisis of Globalization, is the result of extensive travels and interviews conducted by Dr. Ahmed and a young American team throughout the Muslim world. In 2004, he was given the Professor of the Year Award for Washington DC by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.


Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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