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Prof. Akbar Ahmed
Dr. Akbar S. Ahmed is the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic
Studies and Professor of International Relations at American University
in Washington, DC. He has been actively involved in interfaith dialogue
and the study of global Islam and its impact on contemporary society.
Professor Akbar Ahmed is probably the world's best known scholar
on contemporary Islam. He is the former High Commissioner of Pakistan
to Great Britain, and has advised Prince Charles and met with President
George W. Bush on Islam. He is now Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic
Studies and professor of International Relations at American University
in Washington, DC.
Dr. Ahmed is the author of many books on contemporary Islam, including
Discovering Islam: Making Sense of Muslim History and Society, which
was the basis of the BBC six-part TV series called Living Islam.
His Postmodernism and Islam: Predicament and Promise was nominated
for the Amalfi Award, and his "Jinnah Quartet," a four-part
project on Pakistan's founding father, M.A. Jinnah, has won numerous
international awards. More
S Ahmed lone Muslim voice in favour of Daniel Pipes nomination,
Lahore, July 26, 2003
Article claiming Dr Ahmed’s endorsement of Daniel Pipes’s
nomination to the governing board of the federally-funded US Institute
Ahmed's letter of protest to the Daily Times, August 2003
by Dr. Akbar Ahmed regarding Daniel pipes nomination to the USIP,
July 31, 2003
treatment of Intellectuals, Pakistan Link, USA, January 25, 2003
The treatment meted out to Professor Abdus Salam, Faiz Ahmed Faiz,
Professor Akbar, Ahmed Faraz, Qurat ul Ain Haider and many more
was motivated by considerations which overshadowed their contributions
to Pakistan. Among the many hopes that one has of a new Pakistan
under the leadership of President Musharraf is a better treatment
of its intellectual treasures. This is of paramount importance.
War & Call for Jihad, Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, USA,
August 15, 2003
In Egypt, a group of Islamic scholars said jihad -- meaning holy
war -- becomes a duty for all Muslims if the U.S. attacks Iraq.
The scholars said such an attack would constitute a new "crusade"
not only against Islamic territory but on Islam itself. Therefore,
said the scholars, all Muslims are obligated to defend their land
and their religion.We want to explore the significance of that statement
with Akbar Ahmed, Chair of Islamic Studies at American University
in Washington, where he also teaches international relations. Dr.
Ahmed is a former Pakistani ambassador to Great Britain.
Under Siege, The Globalist, USA, July 20, 2003
Some people around the world view the age of terrorism as the age
of Islam. This does not mean that Islam has benefited from terror
acts. On the contrary, many Muslims feel that their religion is
under pressure like never before. Akbar Ahmed - author of the intriguing
book “Islam Under Siege” - explains why and how Islam
is under siege.
Women - The Untold Story, The Globalist, USA, March 07, 2003
The world is paying more attention than ever before to Muslim countries.
However, the treatment of women in some of these countries has been
cause for outright shock. In many ways, the present treatment of
women in those countries reflects tribal — rather than Islamic
— values. In this Globalist Interview, Professor Akbar Ahmed
— Chair of Islamic Studies at American University —
offers new perspectives.
& War - The Real Story, The Globalist, USA,February 22, 2003
As the United States of America is preparing to go to war in the
Middle East, it is worth asking what Islam says about war. Do the
United States — or its opponents in the region — meet
the surprisingly strict requirements that Islam imposes before Muslims
can go to war? Professor Akbar Ahmed, anthropologist and Chair of
Islamic Studies at American University, explains.
Honor is Threatened, The Globalist, USA, September 13, 2002
What effect does globalization have on the traditional societies
in the Middle East? Akbar Ahmed, former Pakistani High Commissioner
to the United Kingdom, provides a surprising answer to this question.
In this Globalist Interview, he points out that the key impact of
globalization on traditional societies may not be on their economy
— but on their sense of honor and dignity.
in Focus Interview with Prof. Akbar Ahmed, Australian Broadcasting
Australia, November 19, 2001
In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in the United States there
are fears in some circles that the ensuing war against terrorism
could widen to become a defacto war on Islam. Professor Akbar Ahmed,
who holds the Chair of Islamic Studies at the American University,
is also the producer of a six-part series for television entitled
"Living Islam". He talks to Jennifer Byrne from the ABC's
in Decorah, March 2004
The little town with the big heart will need all its courage and
compassion in the coming time. The battle for the soul of the Midwest
is joined here in Decorah. Its outcome will affect the shape and
form of society in the United States. That in turn will affect how
the world sees the United States.
Perfect Christmas Gift, December 2003
Had Bishop John Chane been present when I received his Christmas
card, I would have hugged and kissed him with joy in spite of the
mixed signals the gesture may have sent to some members of his denomination.
hold future to American Islam, Religion News Service, December 17,
Prof. Akbar Ahmed's visits to different campuses reveal a young
Muslim generation actively engaged in open, free-ranging talk with
non-Muslims, a dialogue that needs the confidence that comes from
hard work and intelligent use of their fine educational institutions.
Sonn, Historian of Islamic thought, Religion News Service, Decemebr
At a time when polls confirm the vast majority of Americans have
little idea of Islam and many fear it because of a lack of understanding,
the work of an established and authoritative historian ofIslam becomes
all the more relevant.
Glow on Capitol Hill, Religion News Service, June 04, 2003
A certain glow shines around caring and compassionate men and women.
I saw a lot of glow April 4 in one of the grand Senate dining rooms
where I had been invited as the luncheon speaker to address a distinguished
group of guests invited by the United Methodist Higher Education
Hope & Despair: Living as a muslim in The United States, Religion
May 21, 2003
If you appear in the U.S. media with a Muslim name like mine, you
live suspended between hope and despair, compassion and anger, acceptance
and prejudice, inclusion and exclusion. You are blindly associated
with the actions of Muslims all over the world, and your religion
itself appears to be on trial.
on a Collision Course, March 2003
"There will be a time when your religion will be like a hot
piece of coal in the palm of your hand; you will not be able to
hold it". The Prophet of Islam was gazing into the future while
he talked to his followers early in the 7th century in Arabia. "Would
this mean there would be very few Muslims?" someone asked.
"No," replied the Prophet, "They will be large in
numbers, more than ever before, but powerless like the foam on the
ocean waves." After September 11, 2001, the prediction of the
Prophet seems to be coming true. Islam has become as hot as a piece
of coal for its followers.
Passover Seder, Religion News Service, 2003
M. Bruce Lustig, the senior Rabbi of the Washington Hebrew Congregation,
wrote to me inviting me and my family and a few Muslim friends to
share the special interfaith Passover Seder with members and clergy
of the congregation to be celebrated on April 23rd. This, he pointed
out, was a “unique interfaith Freedom Seder”. The celebration
“will emphasize the universal struggle for freedom and human
& Freedom of Thought, The Chronicle of Higher Education, November
(With Lawrence Rosen) As America and its allies have set about building
coalitions that include many of the Islamic nations, it is easy
to lose sight of the issue of intellectual freedom within the Muslim
world. Our concern is that scholars in Muslim countries will be
overlooked in the rush to forge expedient alliances.
the west, Muslim-Canada.org, 1993
For the last thousand years the West treated Islam as the 'other,'
as 'over there.' In the main this is still true: the bulk of the
Muslim population lives in Africa and Asia. But today this simple
world-view has been complicated by the presence in the West of over
ten million Muslims.
Under Siege, 2003
In this groundbreaking
book, Akbar Ahmed, one of the world’s leading authorities
on Islam, who has worked in the Muslim world but lives in the West,
explains what is going wrong in his society by referring to Islamic
history and beliefs. Employing theological and anthropological perspectives,
he attempts to answer the questions that people in the West are
asking about Islam: "Why do they hate us?" "Is Islam
compatible with democracy?" "Does Islam subjugate women?"
"Does the Quran preach violence?" These important questions
are of relevance to Muslims and to non-Muslims alike. Islam Under
Siege points out the need for, and provides the route to, the dialogue
The book is the dramatic story of a revolt some
30 years ago by a religious figure, the Mullah of Waziristan. As
modernization and economic development slowly comes in Waziristan,
it conflicts with the social and tribal structure as well as religious
principles and observances. "Contrary to conventional wisdom,
society does not always proceed on a lineal path forward when it
is modernizing" and falls back on traditional values in search
of stability. The conflict thus reinforces religion.
dialogues between Jews and Muslims, American Weekly, USA, February
Daniel Pearl’s father, Judea Pearl, might be forgiven if he
were to deplore Islam. Instead, he put himself on a Philadelphia
stage for a one-on-one public dialogue on religion with AU professor
Akbar Ahmed, “probably the world’s best-known scholar
on contemporary Islam.”
& Jew: Can we talk?, Post-gazette.com, USA, November 09, 2003
Forum with two articles by Judea Pearl, a Jewish computer scientist
born in Israel, and Akbar Ahmed, a Muslim Islamic scholar born in
Pakistan, who were brought together in Pittsburgh by hope born of
on Islam: Journalists get a lesson, The American Observer, USA,
Apr 17, 2002
The Islamic community faces a crisis of leadership, said a panel
of experts last week at the American Society of Newspaper Editors
annual convention in Washington. In his remarks, panelist Akbar
Ahmed, American University's Chair of Islamic Studies, asked, "Who
speaks for Islam?"