Synopses & Reviews
An acclaimed American journalist and an internationally renowned sheikh challenge their worldviews--and friendship--to help bridge one of the greatest divides shaping our world today
If the Oceans Were Ink is Carla Powers eye-opening story of how she and her longtime friend Sheikh Mohammad Akram Nadwi found a way to confront ugly stereotypes and persistent misperceptions that were cleaving their communities. Their friendship--between a secular American and a madrasa-trained sheikh--had always seemed unlikely, but now they were frustrated and bewildered by the battles being fought in their names. Both knew that a close look at the Quran would reveal a faith that preached peace and not mass murder; respect for women and not oppression. And so they embarked on a yearlong journey through the controversial text.
A journalist who grew up in the Midwest and the Middle East, Power offers her unique vantage point on the Qurans most provocative verses as she debates with Akram at cafes, family gatherings, and packed lecture halls, conversations filled with both good humor and powerful insights. Their story takes them to madrasas in India and pilgrimage sites in Mecca, as they encounter politicians and jihadis, feminist activists and conservative scholars. Armed with a new understanding of each others worldviews, Power and Akram offer fresh perspectives, destroy long-held myths, and reveal startling connections between worlds that have seemed hopelessly divided for far too long.
"Carla Powers intimate portrait of the Quran, told with nuance and great elegance, captures the extraordinary, living debate over the Muslim holy books very essence. A spirited, compelling read that will take you on a journey through debates that are at the core of the Islamic worlds grappling on what it means to be a contemporary Muslim."—Azadeh Moaveni, author of Lipstick Jihad
About the Author
Carla Power writes for TIME and was a foreign correspondent for Newsweek. Her writing has appeared in Vogue, Glamour, The New York Times Magazine, and Foreign Policy. Her work has been recognized with an Overseas Press Club award, a Women in Media Award, and the National Womens Political Caucuss EMMA Award. She holds a graduate degree in Middle Eastern Studies from Oxford, as well as degrees from Yale and Columbia.