"A powerful, lyrical, and boldly rendered book, bringing to life the journey of knowledge seekers. Grewal decenters, blurs, and puts back together a number of scholarly fields to tell a story of Muslims traveling the world for an Islamic education. This profound and compelling ethnography shows that amidst all of the talk of radicalism and terrorism, there is a far more human endeavor here—the search for ethical truths and a better world, no matter how messy and contradictory."
—Junaid Rana, author of Terrifying Muslims: Race and Labor in the South Asian Diaspora
"Energetic and insightful, critical as well as empathetic, Grewal provides a rich map of the discursive counterpoints between different geographies of imagination as they are mapped and remapped in the lives and bodies of men and women who translate Islam in their lived practices today. A must read for anyone wishing to understand how religious knowledge in Islam is manufactured in a readable as well as enjoyable manner."
—Ebrahim Moosa, Professor of Religion & Islamic Studies, Duke University
"A moving and incisive account of Muslim immigrant experiences in the United States. It reveals a dimension of American life seldom genuinely understood. No one will think of American Islam in the same way after reading this book."
—Saba Mahmood, author of Politics of Piety
"Grewal provides readers with useful information about the media, educational organizations, and institutions of political and moral authority."
"A genuinely fascinating and thought-provoking book."
—Times Literary Supplement
"What makes the book readable and her ideas accessible to the reader is her opening each chapter with personal stories of the student traveler. She brings to life the abstract and theoretical discussions by weaving these stories into the narrative of Islam, and particularly American Islam.”
—Middle East Media and Book Review
"Grewal's book is beautifully written, with textured ethnographic vignettes and a clear theoretical analysis."
—American Journal of Islamic Social Science
"Islam is a Foreign Country exemplifies the possibilities of such transnational scholarship . . . . Grewal's book mines the genre of autoethnography more successfully than any I have read in years, and bears comparison to gold standards such as The Woman Warrior and Borderlands/La Frontera."
"This book provides a window into Muslim American debates around religious authority and identity. Its vast subject matter, timeliness, and fluidity are sure to leave readers wanting more; not in the sense of having been deprived, but out of a desire to explore the expansive subject that Grewal has opened up for us….This book is a valuable contribution to the study of Muslim Americans and will be of great interest to scholars of Islam and Americanists alike.”
—Journal of the American Academy of Religion
“Zareena Grewal’s Islam Is a Foreign Country offers a valuable contribution to the growing body of scholarship on American Islam by illuminating the motivations and pedagogies of American Muslims who seek Islamic knowledge overseas in Egypt, Jordan, and Syria.”
—Sociology of Religion
“[…] Grewal’s innovative focus on student travelers makes for a fascinating and insightful look at U.S. Muslims today. The distinctive subject matter and accessible writing style will attract readers outside anthropology and beyond academia, and through considering debates about authority and authenticity in the search for Islamic knowledge, Grewal engages with an area of great interest in the anthropology of Islam.”
“[T]his book offers some original social history of the Muslim community in America and particularly the unique role of the African-American influence of shaping American Islam. [Grewal] skillfully weaves together her ethnographic accounts, staying loyal to her anthropological training but pulling in American history, Middle Eastern Studies, classical Islamic texts, as well as considerations of race, ethnicity, and gender.”
—Sociology of Islam
New York University Press is proud to make many of our titles available in eBook editions. Below is the list of vendors that carry our titles in electronic format. Each vendor has its own pricing and delivery policies. Please follow the links below for more information.
Please list your name, institutional affiliation, course name and size, and institution address. NYU Press will cancel exam copy orders if information cannot be verified.