Breeding Bin Ladens: America, Islam, and the Future of Europe

Overview

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...

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Overview

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.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Bloomsbury Review

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

Choice

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

American Prospect - Aziz Hug

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.

Financial Times - Gideon Rachman

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

Foreign Affairs - Stanley Hoffmann

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

Herald-Dispatch - John Patrick Grace

[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.

H-Amstdy, H-Net Reviews - Elizabeth A. Barre

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

Choice

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

Foreign Affairs
Shore's wise and thoughtful book addresses Europe's "Muslim problems"— those problems faced by the 15 million Muslims in the European Union and those encountered by the EU in trying to cope with them. The issue, Shore points out, goes way beyond the matter of terrorism — and may get more troublesome as Europe, with its aging population and low birthrate, needs more immigrants. In his interviews with Muslims in most European countries, he has found deep "ambi-Americanism" and "ambi-Europeanism." There are, of course, profound political causes for their hostility to the United States, but there is also "among younger European Muslims a growing sense that Europe and America are spiritually empty" and a feeling of being rejected by the Europeans among whom they live. Their consequent fundamentalism (which "simply means returning to the fundamentals of a religious doctrine") is not synonymous with terrorism, but it is often perceived as a first step toward violence — especially since "Muslims on the whole still represent part of the underclass, overrepresented in unemployment, low wage earnings, and political disenfranchisement." Shore is, however, confident that solutions can be found, and he makes a series of "modest proposals" — such as retiring the vocabulary of war from the current language and creating a "Head Start" program for low-income Muslims in Europe. This eminently readable volume deserves to be widely known and seriously pondered.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801892912
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 5/8/2009
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

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.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Table of Contents

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xiii

Introduction: The Prolific Assassin 1

1 London Bridges 11

2 Islamic Awakenings 30

3 Two Faces, Two Futures 48

4 Headscarf Headaches, Cartoon Chaos 71

5 Migration Migraines 90

6 Clash of the Barbies 113

7 New Europe, Same Old Issues 134

8 The Future of Muslim Europe 146

Conclusion: Looking Back To Look Ahead 162

Epilogue: Attracting the Second Circle 174

Appendix 199

Notes 201

Bibliography 211

Index 215

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