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Purchase From MTV to Mecca: How Islam Inspired My Life from Amazon.com

From MTV to Mecca: How Islam Inspired My Life
by Kristiane Backer
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Rating:
Reviewed by: Zahra Syeda Hamdani

From MTV to Mecca: How Islam Inspired My Life, by Kristiane Backer, is an inspiring story of a German-born woman who converted to Islam while working for MTV in London. After meeting Imran Khan, the famous Pakistani cricketer, at a friend's birthday party, Backer learns about Islam. As video jockey for the newly-created MTV channel in Europe, Backer has a high-profile job where she interviewed musicians and gained a cult following. "Wherever we went, we were treated like VIPs," Backer says. (page 52) Yet, she often feels sad and empty. Through her relationship with Imran and her own research, Backer realizes that she needs spirituality and that while all faiths are good, Islam is the faith for her.

Although Imran breaks his relationship with Backer, the two remain friends. Also, Backer continues to have friends that Imran had introduced her to, such as Gai Eaton, a journalist who had converted to Islam in 1951 and had worked for the British Foreign Office. Eaton was a Sufi, a person who followed the mystical aspect of Islam, known as Sufism. Backer becomes a Sufi as well and, in the book, she often discusses the struggles of fine-tuning her life and character. For instance, Backer is determined to discontinue drinking alcoholic beverages, whereas she had previously woken up with hangovers.

Backer's book is honest and thought-provoking as she discusses her difficulties in merging her European culture with Islam. For instance, she is not comfortable with male and female segregation since she had several platonic, male friends. Also, she points out that, as a convert, she spends religious holidays alone since her Muslim friends were spending time with their families. These types of problems may be common with other converts as well.

Backer's style of writing is riveting, but the one issue for American readers may be the occasional British spellings, such as "favourite" and "realization." In addition, Backer jumping from one topic to another can be confusing, such as mentioning renovating her home, moving in, and then saying that she went to California to escape the noisy renovations. One useful portion of the book is the 16-page glossary of Islamic terms, along with a section on key tenets and religious holidays.

From MTV to Mecca is suitable for people of all faiths and ages, with readers who were young in the 1990's recognizing many of the musicians that Backer mentions.


Purchase From MTV to Mecca: How Islam Inspired My Life from Amazon.com



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