Saturday, January 06, 2007

Pg. 69: "Breeding Bin Ladens"

Zachary Shore is Associate Professor of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, and a Research Scholar at the Institute of International Studies and the Institute of European Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.

His books include What Hitler Knew: The Battle for Information in Nazi Foreign Policy and, more recently, Breeding Bin Ladens: America, Islam, and the Future of Europe.

I invited Zach to put Breeding Bin Ladens to the "page 69 test." Here is his reply:
Page 69 of my book on Europe’s Muslims contains the final page of chapter three, entitled “Two Faces, Two Futures.” Here I spotlight two prominent Muslim leaders in Germany and -- after interviewing them over the course of several years -- allow their stories to stand for one of the great divisions occurring within the Muslim community across the continent. The chapter begins as follows.

Europe is caught in a quandary, and two Muslim men could not better embody it. Cem (pronounced “gem”) Özdemir is a prominent Turkish-German politician, the first ethnic Turk ever elected to the Bundestag. Mustafa Yolda is a leading figure in Hamburg’s spiritual community. Both men, each in his late thirties, are ardent advocates for Muslim rights. Both are handsome, highly educated, and disarmingly charismatic. Both are first-generation Turkish-Germans, the sons of guest workers who migrated to Germany to help produce its “economic miracle,” and both are devoted to changing Germany and Europe. Yet they advocate two markedly different futures for Europe’s Muslims: one intensely secular, the other deeply religious.

Page 69 ends the chapter with this paragraph:

Europe faces two distinctly different, equally plausible futures. One embraces Muslims as part of the new European identity. The other excludes moderate, religious Muslims, leaving them prey to the call of Islamic extremists. Both Cem and Mustafa are working toward the former, a European identity inclusive of secular and religious Muslims, though their means to that end are distinct. The obstacles before them are considerable. Speaking about Germany, Mustafa says that Muslims are now living as second-class citizens. If the darker future results, and Muslims feel excluded from the Europe they call home, the repercussions will be profound. Even the optimistic Cem says that the conditions are ripe for a social explosion. If the Madrid and London bombings and their violent backlash are not to become the norm across the continent, Europe must soon solve its Muslim quandary. Europe’s, and America’s, security depends on it.
Many thanks to Zach for the input.

Among the praise for Breeding Bin Ladens:
"Zachary Shore realized earlier than most the potentially huge importance of the religious revival among young Muslims in Europe. The interviews and other evidence in his scrupulously researched and lucidly written book constitute powerful evidence of a disturbing trend. It is not simple hatred of the United States so much as ambivalence about Western society as a whole that has driven these teenagers and twenty-somethings into the arms of the extremists. And while America is prepared to fight (albeit clumsily) a war on terror, a post-Christian Europe seems caught between old fashioned xenophobia and post-modern insouciance."
—Niall Ferguson, Harvard University

"'No one is born a terrorist; terrorists are bred.' That is the thesis of this remarkable book. It starts not with assumptions by Americans and Europeans about Europe's Muslim community, but with the voices of Muslims themselves. Those voices are vital for Americans and Europeans to hear and understand.
Breeding Bin Ladens is a must-read for anyone interested in the future of the liberal democratic West."
—Anne-Marie Slaughter, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University

"Shore captures much of the nuance and contradiction of a community being asked to integrate into national polities that exploit them economically, treat their faith as a second-class superstition, and fail to deal with persistent, widespread racism."
Aziz Hug,
American Prospect
In Foreign Affairs, Stanley Hoffmann praised Breeding Bin Ladens.

This Q & A with Zach covers such questions as: "Who, or what, is breeding Bin Ladens?" Mother Jones Radio interviewed him about the book.

Visit Zach's website for a list of editorials, articles, and policy papers.

Previous "page 69 tests:"
Rolf Potts, Vagabonding
Matt Haig, The Dead Fathers Club
Lawrence Light, Fear & Greed
Simon Read, In The Dark
Sandra Ruttan, Suspicious Circumstances
Henry Ansgar Kelly, Satan: A Biography
Alison Gaylin, You Kill Me
Gayle Lynds, The Last Spymaster
Jim Lehrer, The Phony Marine
Julie Phillips, James Tiptree, Jr.
Debra Ginsberg, Blind Submission
Sarah Katherine Lewis, Indecent
Peter Orner, The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo
William Easterly, The White Man's Burden
Danielle Trussoni, Falling Through the Earth
Andrew Blechman, Pigeons
Anne Perry, A Christmas Secret
Elaine Showalter, Faculty Towers
Kat Richardson, Greywalker
Michael Bess, Choices Under Fire
Masha Hamilton, The Camel Bookmobile
Alex Beam, Gracefully Insane
Nicholas Lemann, Redemption
Jason Sokol, There Goes My Everything
Wendy Steiner, Venus in Exile
Josh Chafetz, Democracy’s Privileged Few
Anne Frasier, Pale Immortal
Michael Lewis, The Blind Side
David A. Bell, The First Total War
Brett Ellen Block, The Lightning Rule
Rosanna Hertz, Single by Chance, Mothers by Choice
Jason Starr, Lights Out
Robert Vitalis, America's Kingdom
Stephen Elliott, My Girlfriend Comes To The City And Beats Me Up
Colin McGinn, The Power of Movies
Sean Chercover, Big City, Bad Blood
Sigrid Nunez, The Last of Her Kind
Stanley Fish, How Milton Works
James Longenbach, The Resistance to Poetry
Margaret Lowrie Robertson, Season of Betrayal
Sy Montgomery, The Good Good Pig
Allison Burnett, The House Beautiful
Stephanie Coontz, Marriage, A History
Ed Lynskey, The Dirt-Brown Derby
Cindy Dyson, And She Was
Simon Blackburn, Truth
Brian Freeman, Stripped
Alyson M. Cole, The Cult of True Victimhood
Jeff Biggers, In the Sierra Madre
Jeff Broadwater, George Mason, Forgotten Founder
Alicia Steimberg, Andrea Labinger (trans.), The Rainforest
Michael Grunwald, The Swamp
Darrin McMahon, Happiness: A History
Leo Braudy, From Chivalry to Terrorism
David Nasaw, Andrew Carnegie
Leah Hager Cohen, Train Go Sorry
Chris Grabenstein, Slay Ride
David Helvarg, Blue Frontier
Marina Warner, Phantasmagoria
Bill Crider, A Mammoth Murder
Robert W. Bennett, Taming the Electoral College
Nicholas Stern et al, Stern Review Report
Kerry Emanuel, Divine Wind
Adam Langer, The Washington Story
Michael Scott Moore, Too Much of Nothing
Frank Schaeffer, Baby Jack
Wyn Cooper, Postcards from the Interior
Ivan Goncharov, Oblomov
Maureen Ogle, Ambitious Brew
Cass Sunstein, Infotopia
Paul W. Kahn, Out of Eden
Paul Lewis, Cracking Up
Pagan Kennedy, Confessions of a Memory Eater
David Greenberg, Nixon's Shadow
Duane Swierczynski, The Wheelman
George Levine, Darwin Loves You
John Barlow, Intoxicated
Alicia Steimberg, The Rainforest
Alan Wolfe, Does American Democracy Still Work?
John Dickerson, On Her Trail
Marcus Sakey, The Blade Itself
Randy Boyagoda, Governor of the Northern Province
John Gittings, The Changing Face of China
Rachel Kadish, Tolstoy Lied
Eric Rauchway, Blessed Among Nations
Tim Brookes, Guitar and other books
Ruth Padel, Tigers in Red Weather
William Haywood Henderson, Augusta Locke
Jed Horne, Breach of Faith
Robert Greer, The Fourth Perspective
David Plotz, The Genius Factory
Michael Allen Dymmoch, White Tiger
Patrick Thaddeus Jackson, Civilizing the Enemy
Tom Lutz, Doing Nothing
Libby Fischer Hellmann, A Shot To Die For
Nelson Algren, The Man With the Golden Arm
Bob Harris, Prisoner of Trebekistan
Elaine Flinn, Deadly Collection
Louise Welsh, The Bullet Trick
Gregg Hurwitz, Last Shot
Martha Powers, Death Angel
N.M. Kelby, Whale Season
Mario Acevedo, The Nymphos of Rocky Flats
Dominic Smith, The Mercury Visions of Louis Daguerre
Simon Blackburn, Lust
Linda L. Richards, Calculated Loss
Kevin Guilfoile, Cast of Shadows
Ronlyn Domingue, The Mercy of Thin Air
Shari Caudron, Who Are You People?
Marisha Pessl, Special Topics in Calamity Physics
John Sutherland, How to Read a Novel
Steven Miles, Oath Betrayed
Alan Brown, Audrey Hepburn's Neck
Richard Dawkins, The Ancestor's Tale

--Marshal Zeringue