Akbar Ahmed’s profound and careful inquiries have greatly enriched our understanding of Islam in the modern world. His latest study, based on direct research with a group of young scholars, explores the complex interfaith reality of Europe, both in history and today, from an Eastern perspective, reversing the familiar paradigm. It is sure to be yet another influential contribution, one greatly needed in a world riven by conflicts and misunderstanding.
Dr Noam Chomsky, Institute Professor and Professor of Linguistics (Emeritus), Massachusetts Institute of Technology
This book is essential reading to all who want to understand our world. As a South Asian Christian, I can say with pride: South Asia has produced two Akbars—Akbar the Great, the emperor who united India, and Akbar Ahmed, who brings peace and harmony among nations through research and knowledge. Akbar, who I have known for decades, is my brother and my hero. He belongs to all of humanity. Long live the passion of Akbar to see one harmonious world with animosity and hatred for none.
Councillor Dr James Shera MBE, S.Pk., Former Mayor of Rugby, England, Freeman of the Borough of Rugby, and Distinguished Formanite
I don’t exaggerate when I say that today Akbar Ahmed is the most knowledgeable scholar writing on Islam and the way the religion is affecting global affairs. In his extensive coverage of the subject, he has brought new insights policymakers in the West would do well to understand. In my own work what I have found most helpful is Professor Ahmed’s finding that Islam’s appeal to some of the extremist elements in Muslim societies should be understood in the context of the survival of tribalism in the structure and value systems of some of the societies that are contributing recruits to Islamist causes. In dealing with these dissidents, the use of force is not the preferred solution. What would work ultimately is the development and modernization of these societies.
Shahid Javed Burki, former Vice President of the World Bank, former Finance Minister of Pakistan, and author of Rising Powers and Global Governance