Journey into Europe: Islam, Immigration, and Identity by Akbar Ahmed

Brookings Institution Press

Review by Frankie Martin

Journey into Europe: Islam, Immigration, and Identity examines Islam in Europe and the place of Islam in European history and civilization. It was based on fieldwork across the continent over a four-year period to ten countries including Germany, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the UK, France, and Italy. We again interviewed the range of society including politicians, religious leaders such as grand muftis, archbishops, and chief rabbis, and migrants recently arrived in Europe from their perilous journey across the Mediterranean.

The study examined the rich history of Islam in Europe including the Muslim impact on Spain—in which Muslims arrived in the 8th century and fostered a pluralistic society incorporating Jews, Muslims, and Christians—Sicily, and the Balkans. The study also delves into the many contributions Muslims made to Europe in areas including culture, music, art, architecture, mathematics, science, and philosophy. Like Journey into America, the study examined the diverse Muslim population in contemporary Europe, their relationship to European identity and other religious communities, and the ways in which coexistence might be built and strengthened. It was also, like Journey into America, accompanied by a documentary film which was screened at film festivals, universities, and on television around the world.