Hailed by The Washington Post as "mandatory reading" and praised by Fareed Zakaria as "intelligent, compassionate, and revealing", this powerful journey will help bridge one of the greatest divides shaping our world today.
If the Oceans Were Ink is Carla Power's eye-opening story of how she and her longtime friend, Sheikh Mohammad Akram Nadwi, found a way to confront ugly stereotypes and persistent misperceptions that were cleaving their communities. Their friendship - between a secular American and a madrasa-trained sheikh - had always seemed unlikely, but now they were frustrated and bewildered by the battles being fought in their names. Both knew that a close look at the Quran would reveal a faith that preached peace and not mass murder, respect for women and not oppression. And so they embarked on a yearlong journey through the controversial text.
A journalist who grew up in the Midwest and the Middle East, Power offers her unique vantage point on the Quran's most provocative verses as she debates with Akram at cafés, family gatherings, and packed lecture halls, conversations filled with both good humor and powerful insights. Their story takes them to madrasas in India and pilgrimage sites in Mecca as they encounter politicians and jihadis, feminist activists and conservative scholars. Armed with a new understanding of each other's worldview, Power and Akram offer eye-opening perspectives, destroy long-held myths, and reveal startling connections between worlds that have seemed hopelessly divided for far too long.
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- Kate Grayson
WAY TOO LONG-but good material
It should have been 1/3 the length--it was so repetitive. When a book doesn't really have a story--and it is presenting a viewpoint or perspective, as this one is--it needs to be short.
Stop repeating herself! Polygamy, child brides, Koran 4: 34 Women, politics of Muslim countries. Over and over again. Pages and pages on headwear. She made the point about piety vs the show of piety! She should have edited like crazy. Also, she seemed very opinionated and self-important. There was no movement or growth in either main protagonist.
Yes. The voices were distinct and believable.
Compassion for the majority of Muslims. Honor for the values of modesty in all things, and devotion.
If I listened to it again, I would listen at "double speed" on my iPod. Really, I was so bored by about 2/3 of the way through I was sorry I had started the book--even though it taught me a lot.