New Book – 'My Visit to the Holy Land'
The Center for Islamic Pluralism (CIP) is proud to announce the publication of a challenging new volume, My Visit to the Holy Land, by the Albanian-American journalist Vehbi Bajrami, publisher of the New York semi-weekly Illyria.
Vehbi Bajrami's book is a journalistic account of his visit, with a delegation of moderate American Muslims including CIP President Kemal Silay and CIP Shia Affairs Director Nawab Agha, to the state of Israel in 2008. It comprises detailed descriptions of the Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem as well as the work of notable Sufis, including the late Shaykh Abd Al-Aziz Bukhari, rahmetli, a friend and colleague of CIP, and the Al-Qasemi Academy, which is operated by Halveti Sufis as a teacher training and Islamic educational institution within Israel's borders.
As noted in a preface by CIP Executive Director Stephen Suleyman Schwartz, "Vehbi… showed great courage. While the majority of Albanians are Muslims, they, like most adherents of Islam around the world, know little that is simple, direct, and candid about the realities of life in Israel. In composing his narrative, Vehbi has spared nothing of what he saw." The full text of Schwartz's preface is accessible here.
Schwartz commented, on the publication of the book, "My Visit to the Holy Land appears at a time of flux in the Arab and Islamic world, epitomized by the political crisis in Egypt, a country that has maintained peace with Israel. An objective view of the Jewish state, such as Vehbi Bajrami has provided, may contribute to a new perspective on relations between the countries, as Egypt examines its internal and external realities. For that reason alone, publication at this time is fortuitous."
CIP President Silay commented in his endorsement of My Visit to the Holy Land, "Our trip provided plenty of evidence that those who want to live peacefully with the majority Jewish population have indeed succeeded in life. But those who have adopted violent rejectionism not only terrorize the state of Israel daily, but their own people."
My Visit to the Holy Land is accessible as a free download in .pdf form at the Center for Islamic Pluralism website here. Inquiries regarding purchase of hardbound copies of the book may be addressed to CIP or [email protected].