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Breeding Bin Ladens

, 240 pages
August 2006



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Breeding Bin Ladens

America, Islam, and the Future of Europe

Outstanding Academic Title for 2007, Choice Magazine

While American leaders wage war on extremists in the Middle East, they are dangerously detached from a potentially greater threat closer to home. In Breeding Bin Ladens, Zachary Shore asserts that the growing ambivalence of Europe’s Muslims poses risks to national identities, international security, and the transatlantic alliance.

Europe’s failure to integrate its Muslim millions, combined with America’s battered image in the Muslim world, have left too many Western Muslims easy prey for violent dogmas. Until America and Europe adopt new strategies, Shore argues, Europe will increasingly become the incubation ground for breeding new Bin Ladens.

The United States continues to spend billions of dollars and lose thousands of its young men and women to combat Islamic extremists, a group estimated to be as small as fifty thousand. What Western leaders have not done, says Shore, is seek to understand the millions of moderate Muslims who live peacefully in the United States and Europe. Many in this extraordinarily diverse group are deeply ambivalent toward perceived Western values. Although they may admire America's economic or technological might, many are appalled by its crass consumerism, sexualization of women, lack of social justice, and foreign policies.

Shore taps into this oft-ignored perspective through in-depth interviews with Muslims living across the European Union. He gives voice to people of deep faith who speak of the conflict between their desire to integrate into their adopted societies and the repulsion they feel toward some of what the West represents.

Shore offers a deeply nuanced and hopeful consideration of Islam's future in the West. Cautioning Western leaders against an anti-terrorist tunnel vision that could ultimately backfire, Shore proposes bold, creative, and controversial solutions for attracting the hearts and minds of moderate Muslims living in the West.

Zachary Shore is an associate professor of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School and a Senior Fellow at the Institute of European Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He has served on the Policy Planning Staff at the U.S. Department of State through a fellowship from the Council on Foreign Relations. He earned his doctorate in modern European history from Oxford University and served as a national security fellow at Harvard's Institute for Strategic Studies. He is the author of What Hitler Knew: The Battle for Information in Nazi Foreign Policy and Blunder: Why Smart People Make Bad Decisions.

"Well-written overview of the state of Islam in Europe."

"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."

"The narrative style of this timely work makes it a rewarding read."

"The only one of the American authors to have taken the trouble to talk to a lot of European Muslims."

"Shore's wise and thoughtful book addresses Europe's 'Muslim problems'... This eminently readable volume deserves to be widely known and seriously pondered."

"[Shore] proposes to alert American policymakers, business people and simply interested citizens to the challenge of paying attention to Islamic culture... And who's to say he isn't right."

"This is must read for anyone who wants to know more about the complex world of Europe's Muslims."

"Shore's thoughtful and measured analysis stands out in a genre awash in oversimplification, misinformation, and polemics."

" Breeding Bin Ladens is a contemporary threat assessment of the rise of radical Islam. The method is that of painstakingly detailed investigative journalism based on interviews of some known and potential Muslim radicals in the field. This is quite an accomplishment in itself. The language is narrative, exciting and often anecdotal, reading like a thriller."

"'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."

"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. "

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