Book about Islam and intellectualism, what's the title?
April 26, 2009 8:13 PM   Subscribe

I'm trying to find a book about Islam and intellectualism. I can remember the cover, and the content - but not the title or the author. Gah!

The book was written by a Pakistani based in the UK. The book starts off with him explaining how he often has to fend off the people from the nearby mosque that always want to recruit him and a family member, but one time he decides to say "Yes" to see what they're about.

This leads him to an international journey about different ways Islam manifests itself around the world. He's more concerned with how people use their interpretations of Islam for political gain. There's a section about how Saddam Hussein was part of a political party that wanted Arab unity without concern for religion, and an encounter with a friend/relative in Iran who gets frustrated with his questions.

Later on in the book he details his experience of running an Islamic intellectualism magazine/organisation in Kuala Lumpur that lasted a few years, but then things like race riots and 9/11 made it really difficult to push through a more rational and intellectual view of Islam. There was some talk of revisiting questions about science, humanism, and so on through the eyes of Islam. Anwar Ibrahim gets a mention.

The cover is white; it may have had a mosque and some greenery on the bottom border. The title (which probably didn't have the word "Islam") was likely
It was published sometime after 2002-2003. It's non-fiction but not a textbook.

I got this book from our local library last year but they don't keep borrowing histories and I couldn't find it on their catalogue. Amazon, Google Books, Barnes and Noble, and even Twitter friends can't find it. It was originally meant to be just a throwaway cite, but now I've become even more motivated to find the book. Can you help?
posted by divabat to Media & Arts (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm sure that this isn't the actual book you're looking for but it sounds a bit like something the anonymous author of Why I Am Not A Muslim, who claims to be Pakistani, might write or undertake. Or at least that book would be in the same genre.
posted by XMLicious at 8:22 PM on April 26, 2009

In the path of God?
posted by barnone at 8:24 PM on April 26, 2009

Daniel Pipes isn't Pakistani.
posted by Falconetti at 8:45 PM on April 26, 2009

Uh, yeah...But some of the other bits fit, including the cover. Sometimes memory is a funny thing, ya know?
posted by barnone at 9:15 PM on April 26, 2009

Response by poster: XMLicious and barnone: Nope. It wouldn't be similar to Why I Am Not A Muslim because the author is still very much Muslim in his faith. Also he makes a big deal about his Pakistani heritage so I'm pretty sure my memory isn't faulty there.
posted by divabat at 10:56 PM on April 26, 2009

This cover for Journey into Islam isn't exactly right -- but the content seems like more of a fit.
posted by barnone at 11:59 PM on April 26, 2009

Or his earlier book, Discovering Islam.
posted by barnone at 12:07 AM on April 27, 2009

Response by poster: Yes!! That's the one! It might have been a different cover in different countries, but from what I can tell of the limited book preview on Amazon, that's the one.

Thank you!
posted by divabat at 12:54 AM on April 27, 2009

Best answer: I was coming in to say that this sounds a heck of a lot like Desperately Seeking Paradise: Journeys of a Skeptical Muslim by Ziauddin Sardar. Even the way you've described the title on the cover! I guess I must be wrong since you've found the book anyway, but just thought I'd throw it out there.
posted by Ziggy500 at 2:42 AM on April 27, 2009

Response by poster: Oh crap. Sorry. Actually, Ziggy got it right. I got confused by the preview pages - the writing style seemed really similar but I couldn't look through enough to see if there were mentions of the mob that kept trying to recruit him, or all the other stuff. The cover is just as I thought it was, except the blue bit turned out to be a roadsign not a mosque!

Sorry barnone, but Ziggy500 got it!
posted by divabat at 3:12 AM on April 27, 2009

Oh man, all that research and no best answer! Such a sad barnone....
posted by barnone at 10:59 AM on April 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

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