Crossing the cultural divide between Muslim and non-Muslim: Formation of ambassadorial identity

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Abstract

Akbar S. Ahmed is widely acknowledged in the West as 'The Ambassador for Islam' and is an eminent Pakistani Muslim anthropologist. This article examines his Muslim ambassadorial identity. The paper argues that his ambassadorial identity is not given, but is partly influenced by the theoretical inspiration and compassionate encouragement of Ernest Gellner, himself a brilliant anthropologist, philosopher and social theorist. Identifying the informal pedagogical role influencing the young Akbar S. Ahmed in bridging the present deep cultural divide, it is shown how Muslims and non-Muslims can enlighten one another away from a clash of civilizations. More importantly, through their example, it shows the importance and possibility of inter-cultural understanding in the aftermath of September 11 and the war against terrorism. Copyright © 2005 Taylor & Francis Group Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-19
JournalSocial Identities
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2005

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Muslim
diplomat
civilization
Islam
terrorism
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Citation

Ho, W.-Y. (2005). Crossing the cultural divide between Muslim and non-Muslim: Formation of ambassadorial identity. Social Identities, 11(1), 5-19. doi: 10.1080/13504630500100399