Journey to the End of Islam by Michael Muhammad Knight

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Synopsis

In Journey to the End of Islam, Michael Muhammad Knight — whose work has led to him being hailed as both the Jack Kerouac and Hunter S. Thompson of American Islam — wanders through Muslim countries, navigating between conflicting visions of his religion. Visiting holy sites in Pakistan, Syria, Egypt, and Ethiopia, Knight engages both the puritanical Islam promoted by Saudi globalization and the heretical strands of popular folk Islam: shrines, magic, music, and drugs. The conflict of “global” and “local” Islam speaks to Knight’s own experience approaching the Islamic world as a uniquely American Muslim with his own sources: the modern mythologies of the Nation of Islam and Five Percenters, as well as the arguments of Progressive Muslim thinkers for feminism and reform.

Knight’s travels conclude at Islam’s spiritual center, the holy city of Mecca, where he performs the hajj required of every Muslim. During the rites of pilgrimage, he watches as all variations of Islam converge in one place, under the supervision of Saudi Arabia’s religious police. What results is a struggle to separate the spiritual from the political, Knight searching for a personal relationship to Islam in the context of how it's defined by the external world.
 

About Michael Muhammad Knight

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MICHAEL MUHAMMAD KNIGHT has studied Islam at a madrassa in Pakistan, the Allah School in Harlem, and Harvard University. His work has been censored, boycotted, confiscated, and threatened with legal action. This is his seventh book.
 
Published December 10, 2009 by Soft Skull Press. 386 pages
Genres: Religion & Spirituality, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Journey to the End of Islam

Kirkus Reviews

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A contentious author and college speaker embarks on an international road trip to explore Islamic holy sites and modern mythologies.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Journey to the End of Islam

Publishers Weekly

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His latest, a stream of consciousness chronicle of his pilgrimage to holy sites in Pakistan, Syria, Ethiopia, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, resembles nothing so much as the archetypal American road novel complete with a harrowing episode of cannabis-induced psychosis, a breezy tone (“I spent two months...

Oct 12 2009 | Read Full Review of Journey to the End of Islam

BC Books

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There has never been a more honest book written about the nature of religion and an individual's relationship to a belief system. eir

Jun 05 2010 | Read Full Review of Journey to the End of Islam

BC Books

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Jun 05 2010 | Read Full Review of Journey to the End of Islam

BC Books

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However, when you consider the brief descriptions of his childhood he offers readers in his book Journey To The End Of Islam, published by Soft Skull Press, you have to wonder how much Islam represented a place of order which would relieve him of having to make his own decisions about good and ev...

Jun 05 2010 | Read Full Review of Journey to the End of Islam

Seattle PI

We not only learn about the history of the religion and the schisms that have divided the faith almost since its beginnings along the way, but Knight also provides us with an overview of the uniquely American versions of Islam that were fostered by Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm X, the Nubian Islamic H...

Apr 26 2011 | Read Full Review of Journey to the End of Islam

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