EUROPE'S ANGRY MUSLIMS

THE REVOLT OF THE SECOND GENERATION

An expert on national security challenges stereotypes of Islamic militancy and the threat it poses.

Leiken (Why Nicaragua Vanished, 2003, etc.) analyzes social policies affecting Muslim immigrant communities in France, the U.K. and Germany, and how these have affected recruitment to Islamic jihadist organizations. Rejecting a one-size-fits-all categorization of Islam, he suggests that it is the “postmigrant” second-generation of young men who provide potential recruits for terrorist organizations in Europe and the United States, especially as they face a crisis of identity in a time of economic stagnation. The author draws the conclusion that the apparently socially repressive policies adopted by the French have proven to be most successful in dealing with a possible threat of terrorism, while the British face a serious problem. Migrants from Algeria are encouraged to view themselves as French and are expected to assimilate French culture. Leiken believes that the 2005 street riots were fueled by economic conditions rather than ideology. In contrast, the terrorist attack on the British subway system was ideologically motivated. The author attributes the rise of Islamic terrorism in the U.K. to British multiculturism. Leaders in Muslim communities received generous government subsidies and were expected to act as mediators for the Muslim population, which was not encouraged to assimilate. Migrant laborers generally maintain close ties to their native communities, which their children lack, leaving them vulnerable to terrorist recruitment. By offering apprenticeship programs and vocational training, Germans provided them a road to economic, if not social, integration and an alternative to radicalism. Leiken provides a historical, ethnic and socioeconomic context that identifies important differences as opposed to empty generalities. Both well written and researched—a valuable contribution to an ongoing discussion.        

 

Pub Date: Jan. 4, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-19-532897-4

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: Oct. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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Not an easy read but an essential one.

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HOW TO BE AN ANTIRACIST

Title notwithstanding, this latest from the National Book Award–winning author is no guidebook to getting woke.

In fact, the word “woke” appears nowhere within its pages. Rather, it is a combination memoir and extension of Atlantic columnist Kendi’s towering Stamped From the Beginning (2016) that leads readers through a taxonomy of racist thought to anti-racist action. Never wavering from the thesis introduced in his previous book, that “racism is a powerful collection of racist policies that lead to racial inequity and are substantiated by racist ideas,” the author posits a seemingly simple binary: “Antiracism is a powerful collection of antiracist policies that lead to racial equity and are substantiated by antiracist ideas.” The author, founding director of American University’s Antiracist Research and Policy Center, chronicles how he grew from a childhood steeped in black liberation Christianity to his doctoral studies, identifying and dispelling the layers of racist thought under which he had operated. “Internalized racism,” he writes, “is the real Black on Black Crime.” Kendi methodically examines racism through numerous lenses: power, biology, ethnicity, body, culture, and so forth, all the way to the intersectional constructs of gender racism and queer racism (the only section of the book that feels rushed). Each chapter examines one facet of racism, the authorial camera alternately zooming in on an episode from Kendi’s life that exemplifies it—e.g., as a teen, he wore light-colored contact lenses, wanting “to be Black but…not…to look Black”—and then panning to the history that informs it (the antebellum hierarchy that valued light skin over dark). The author then reframes those received ideas with inexorable logic: “Either racist policy or Black inferiority explains why White people are wealthier, healthier, and more powerful than Black people today.” If Kendi is justifiably hard on America, he’s just as hard on himself. When he began college, “anti-Black racist ideas covered my freshman eyes like my orange contacts.” This unsparing honesty helps readers, both white and people of color, navigate this difficult intellectual territory.

Not an easy read but an essential one.

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-50928-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: One World/Random House

Review Posted Online: April 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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