The origins of The Convert, a singular odyssey into the labyrinthine heart of 20th century political Islam, lie in a cache of letters by a convert named Maryam Jameelah, one of the most trenchant and celebrated voices of Islam's argument with the West. The letters raise the question: What drives a young woman raised in a New York City suburb to convert to Islam, abandon country, family, and faith, and move to Pakistan? Casting a shadow over these letters is Mawlana Abul A'la Mawdudi, both her adoptive father and mentor, and a man who laid the foundations for militant Islam. This lecture recounts the challenge of writing this book, a finalist for the National Book Award in Non-fiction, during the early years of the American war on terror.
Simultaneous Arabic interpretation provided.
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