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Himanshu Roy

JWB Blogger

Film: Journey Into Europe With New Vision on Islam

  • JWB Post
  •  November 17, 2015


Centuries of history that has blended with different cultures begs your attention! Yes, if you think that Islam in Europe is only about the crusades and the recent horrific terror attacks in Paris, then you may need to do a little bit rethinking.

And the call for retrospection is by former diplomat Akbar Ahmed, who has come up with a documentary, Journey into Europe. The documentary highlights lesser known facts about Islam in Europe that very few people have ever come across.

Did you know that in Southern Spain, during the rule of the Caliph in the 10th century there used to be a famous library with over 4 lakh manuscripts?

Okay, let alone manuscripts but if you are a fan of the dazzling flamenco dance that is famous in Spain, then you are gonna love this.

What does the word ole that comes again and again during the dance mean? Ole derives its name from Allah, the name of the god that the dancers used to take during flamenco shoes.

Right from the beautiful street food in Sicily or the language itself, abundant with Arabic words, everything hints towards a rich history of Islam in Europe.

But what about the current problems that Islam in Europe is facing? Growing extremism, a sense of insecurity and souring relationships with the same people who earlier had no problems with the religion.

The documentary shows a hijab wearing German student who speaks about how she feels sitting at the corner of her class as no one tries to interact with her because of her religion. What’s more? Abusive posters are also put up in Spain which say ‘Modos go back’.

The rapidly rising extremism too seems to have a pattern in Europe. Samia Hathroub, a French lawyer says that most of the people who are resorting to violence that ultimately results in horrific incidents such as the Paris Attacks and Charlie Hebdo shooting are done mostly by people from dislocated immigrant families. It happens that slowly because of the isolation, they start to feel insecure and ultimately decide to vent their anger by taking the lives of innocent people.

Journey into Europe shows us that things can indeed change for good by not only with the support and participation of people, but most importantly through education. This history of coexistence that the documentary reveals could be one of the ways which can contribute towards peace and understanding of Islam by both Muslims as well as other communities in Europe.

Watch the film trailer now!

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