Weber studied social and religious behaviour in the era of modernity. In Weber’s ” Ideal Type” of a modern society, institutions were built and social and political processes conducted on the basis of rationality. Hence Weber’s concept of citizenship was founded on a democratic polity and the principle of equality. By contrast Ibn Khaldun identifies the organising principle of tribal society in terms of bloodlines that sustain norms of kinship loyalty, of dignity, of honour and revenge. It is these norms that underlie social cohesion. In Ibn Khaldun’s model of tribal society, the dynamics of stability and change are determined by the degree of social cohesion, he calls assabiyyah. When assabiyyah is high, society is strong, when it is low, the tribal grouping is weak.As Akbar walks us through the conceptual edifices of Weber and Ibn Khaldun, he points out that both tribal societies and modern societies in practice diverge from their respective Ideal Types. Khaldun’s ideal tribal society provided rights to the minorities and Weber’s democracies claimed to be subject to the principle of equality. Yet in both kinds of society the interests of the dominant groups prevailed. The institutional structures gave preferential access to the dominant groups or elites over resources, opportunities for advancement and governance. We are then taken on another fascinating journey into the intellectual origins of both tribal culture and the democratic norms of modern European society. This is done by comparing and contrasting the paradigms of Ibn Khaldun and Max Weber respectivelyHere one can ask, what is it in the system of powerin the modern democratic state whereby actions are undertaken that violate the very principles on which it isfounded? Furthermore, is the divergence between the practice of power and principles underlying the institutional structures, systematic? If regularities in state behaviour are observed, then what is the mechanism which determines the actual functioning of the state? These questions could perhaps be the subject of another study that would cast new light on the problem to which Akbar has alluded.By his nuanced application of Khaldun and Weber to immigrant violence in modern Europe, Akbar provides a brilliant insight into the recent acts of terrorism in Paris and Brussels where Berber groups reside. He argues that in the contemporary period, when tribes migrate for example from the Berber areas of North Africa to start new lives in Europe, they tend to disintegrate as the cohesive force of traditional norms, weakens. In the new environment of the atomised individual, the psyche retains only some randomly fragmented features of the tribal identity, just as only some of the elements of European identity are adopted. Within the internal psychologicalspace of these contradictions and an external social environment of hostility, some migrants become susceptible to the narrative of the militant extremist groups. Joining such a group provides to the isolated migrant the security of a new identity. It also provides an opportunity to vent their anger and take revenge against a society that they feel has violated their dignity. In the opening scene, Akbar is about to address a prayer congregation of Muslim immigrants in that grimy underground garage in Athens. He feels the desperation of the assemblage that is seething with anger at their miserable plight. Akbar’s sense of compassion drives him to give some message of hope to these tortured souls. From deep within his consciousness came a balm an inspiration, to tread the path of righteousness despite their suffering: he gave the example of the Prophet of Islam who had faced enormous difficulties with “patience, compassion and courage”. The dingy underground garage which served as their place of their prayer, Akbar told them, was “as beautiful a mosque as any in the world”, because the beauty of a mosque is drawn from the “the power and beauty of the faith in the heart of the worshippers”.It could be suggested that any journey of knowledge becomes meaningful when it also becomes a journey to the heart, the centre of our being where love prevails. The rediscovery of love, becomes a way of knowing ourselves and the world. Akbar’s multi-levelled journey ends perhaps at such a doorstep, for he gives a call to the European leadership to bring compassion and understanding to bear in dealing with the grave crisis of violent extremism. He asks Europeans to reflect on the actions of “Pope Francis, washing the feet of immigrants” and “Angela Merkel, opening her arms to welcome a million refugees to Germany”. Akbar suggests that these actions evoke the “courage, compassion and humility” of “European humanism”. May it also be suggested, that these are acts of love that come from the human heart, and thus have the potential of uniting all humanity. The author is Distinguished Professor and Dean School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Information Technology UniversityPublished in Daily Times, March 7th 2019.