Malcolm X’s dramatic pilgrimage to Mecca is often seen as the pinnacle of his spiritual life. But that’s only half the story. Edward Curtis shows how Cairo, rather than Mecca, became the center of his religious ethics of political liberation as he navigated the competing interests of the “Arab Cold War” between Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
Edward E. Curtis IV is the author or editor of ten books, including Muslims in America: A Short History, which was named one of the 100 Best Books of 2009 by Publishers Weekly. He is Millennium Chair of the Liberal Arts & Professor of Religious Studies at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. The recipient of Mellon, Fulbright, Carnegie, National Humanities Center, and National Endowment for the Humanities fellowships and grants, Curtis is a fifth-generation native of Southern Illinois—where his Arab relatives settled in a town called Cairo.