Blue-eyed devil: a road odyssey through Islamic America
In his quest for an indigenous "American Islam," Michael Muhammad Knight embarks on a series of interstate odysseys. Traveling 20,000 miles by Greyhound in sixty days, he squats in run-down mosques, pursues Muslim romance, is detained at the U.S.-Canadian border with a trunkload of Shi'a literature, crashes Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) conventions, stink-palms Cat Stevens, limps across Chicago to find the grave of Noble Drew Ali, and hunts down the truth of the Nation of Islam mystery-man, W.D. Fard - filling dozens of notebooks along the way. The result is this semi-autobiographical book, with multiple histories of Fard and the landscape of American Islam woven into Knight's own story. P> n the course of his adventures Knight sorts out his own relationship to Islam as he journeys from punk provocateur to a recognized voice in the community, and watches first-hand the collapse of a liberal Islamic dream. The book's extensive cast of characters includes anarcho-Sufi heretics, vegan kung-fu punks, tattoo-sleeved converts in hardcore bands, spiritual drug dealers, Islamic feminists, slick media entrepreneurs, sages of the street, the grandsons of Elijah Muhammad and Malcolm X, and a group called "Muslims for Bush." P> ith its journalistic approach to Islam's intersection with race, gender, and Americanization, Blue-Eyed Devil offers a brutally honest but ultimately compassionate look at the marginal underground of Islamic America.