Blue-Eyed Devil: A Road Odyssey Through Islamic America by Michael Muhammad Knight

By Michael Muhammad Knight

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Michael Muhammad Knight embarks on a quest for an indigenous American Islam in a sequence of interstate odysseys. touring 20,000 miles through Greyhound in sixty days, he squats in run-down mosques, pursues Muslim romance, is detained on the U.S.-Canadian border with a trunkload of Shia literature, crashes Islamic Society of North the USA conventions, stink-palms Cat Stevens, and limps throughout Chicago to discover the grave of Noble Drew Ali, filling dozens of notebooks alongside the way in which. the result's this semi-autobiographical e-book, with a number of histories of Fard and the panorama of yankee Islam woven into Knight’s personal story.

In the process his adventures, Knight types out his personal courting to Islam as he trips from punk provocateur to a famous voice in the neighborhood, and watches first-hand the cave in of a liberal Islamic dream. The book’s huge solid of characters contains anarchist Sufi heretics, vegan kungfu punks, tattoo-sleeved converts in hard-core bands, religious drug buyers, Islamic feminists, slick media marketers, sages of the road, the grandsons of Elijah Muhammad and Malcolm X, and a bunch referred to as Muslims for Bush.

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Based on the Tudeh Party’s ideology, these two organizations were focused on the question of political leadership to resist the dictatorship of the Shah and how to start a mass movement. These organizations appeared after the failure of the pro-Mosaddeq opposition to force the Shah to hold a free parliament election. Many leaders of the pro-Mosaddeq opposition were arrested in 1962. Many more were imprisoned after the anti-Shah demonstrations instigated by Ayatollah Khomeini in 1963. These events made significant impacts on Al-e Ahmad, who combined the Sartrean conception of the intellectual and the Gramscian idea of intellectual hegemony to argue for the political mission of Iranian intellectuals.

16 Here, Shariati makes the Sartrean distinction between the intellectual and the technician of practical knowledge. Ali Shariati Mazinani was born in Kahak, a village in the Khorasan province, in 1933. Khorasan produced the mainstream of anti-Shah militants of the late 1960s and 1970s. Two of the main founders of the Fadaiyan-e Khalq, many founders of the Mojahedin, and Iran’s present supreme leader come from that province. He entered a Teacher Training College for primary schools in 1949. In his college days, he participated in the oil nationalization movement.

To the founders of the Fadaiyan and the Mojahedin, Al-e Ahmad’s politics was reformist and conciliatory toward the regime of the Shah. They proposed armed struggle as the only means to gain political leadership of the masses. Al-e Ahmad argued in his Westoxication (Gharbzadegi) published in 1962 that the past political failures in Iran were a result of the intellectual infertility of the Iranian intelligentsia. He discussed several years later, the means through which Iranian intellectuals could overcome rival blocs of knowledge to impose their hegemony on the masses.

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