A panoramic yet nuanced investigation into the lives and dreams of Muslims living in Europe and the US. LeBor, a...


A HEART TURNED EAST: Among the Muslims of Europe and America

A panoramic yet nuanced investigation into the lives and dreams of Muslims living in Europe and the US. LeBor, a correspondent for the Times of London, first became interested in Europe's Muslims during his stint in the war zones of Bosnia. This volume brims with both the curiosity and the openness that the Jewish LeBor brings to his investigative journey and to the possibilities of Muslim contributions to the West. LeBor travels to a diverse group of communities that share similar questions about Muslim participation in the larger culture and polity. This book is divided into separate chapters on wartime Sarajevo, the rebirth of Islam in Bosnia, Muslims in London and in the heart of Yorkshire, the predominantly Algerian Muslim community of France, Germany's second generation of Turks (""Euro-Turks""), new possibilities for modern Islam in Turkey, and Muslim political activism in the US. In each, the narrative is dominated by lengthy citations from extensive interviews conducted with a broad spectrum of Muslims from each country. LeBor, with a conversational tone and a deft touch, succinctly explains the different aspirations within each community and the tensions between Muslim modernists and radical Islamists that he encounters everywhere. Interviewees are often poignant and eloquent, and LeBor succeeds in giving voice to their dreams and frustrations. He reveals more of his own visions of Western Islam, both past and present, when discussing Europe's ""forgotten Islamic heritage"" and Western Muslims' future. Here LeBor points to the achievements of Islamic Spain and its commingling of cultures and religions as a model of multicultural coexistence. With the millions of Muslims now permanently living in the West, he argues, Muslims and non-Muslims alike must learn to coexist. A timely and accessible look into how both Western Muslims and their neighbors are dealing with the political, social, and spiritual issues raised by an increasing Muslim presence in the West.

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 1998


Page Count: 322

Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 1997

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