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Ep107 - Tamim Ansary

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Mixed Mental Arts

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While working on a history textbook for US students, Tamim Ansary found that he and his team of American advisors had a very different sense of the world. The Americans saw history as a long march towards democracy and free-market capitalism in which Islam had no particularly major role to play. On the other hand, Mr. Ansary having been born in Kabul and spent his earliest years learning a Muslim view of history felt a little differently about things. How could a religion with 1.6 billion followers be regarded as a mere footnote? This was just before 9/11. The day after that event Mr. Ansary sent an e-mail to a few friends trying to interpret the Islamic world for people steeped in a Western sense of history and a Western world and that’s what he’s been doing ever since. Although Mr. Ansary is a fan of democratic society—he lives in the US after all—in his books he sets his personal opinions aside to allow us to really understand the world as Muslims do. Today we talk about two of his books. In the first, Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes, Mr. Ansary lays out an entire vision of history as seen and felt by Muslims around the world. In the second, Games Without Rules: The Often-Interrupted History of Afghanistan, he lays out for us a history of Afghanistan that helps us make sense of why countless great empires have failed to conquer much less understand his home country. You can visit Mr. Ansary on the web at http://mirtamimansary.com and follow him on twitter @mirtamimansary. Mr. Ansary is the author of many books. Today, we focused on just two of them Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes and Games Without Rules: The Often-Interrupted History of Afghanistan. Both available from here to Kabul.

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