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Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam Hardcover – May 15, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
Zenpundit: "Berger's work is detail-packed and focused, and a useful resource for that reason alone. But it is also and specifically the work of someone who has read and talked with and listened to the people he is writing about, and his work carries their voices embedded in his own commentary. It thus joins such works as Jessica Stern's Terror in the Name of God: Why Religious Militants Kill... Berger's is a book to read, certainly -- and more significantly perhaps, a book to admire."
Publisher's Weekly: "...Berger lifts the veil on the phenomenon of American jihadists in this timely and chilling examination. ... painstakingly lays out the scope and character of the American jihadist movement and points the way to a national debate on solutions."
Top Customer Reviews
The bulk of Jihad Joe is a lesson in recent history, recounting the motivations and activities of Americans who have "go[ne] to war in the name of Islam" from the siege of Mecca in 1979, where two Americans were involved, to the present. It traces the heady days of the heavily-endorsed (by Islamic leaders and the U.S. alike) jihad against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, when Muslims from America and around the world traveled to fight against the Russian invaders, to the founding of al Qaeda, where an American from Kansas City served as note-taker, through the Bosnian conflict, to the "war on America" that al Qaeda began in the 1990s (which included action in Somalia during the infamous "Black Hawk Down" incident), and which is currently ongoing.Read more ›
-Books that grossly misunderstand and hype the threat: These include works by authors who would have you think that thousands of Muslim American terrorists are going to start marching down the highways of America and impose a shariah state by force on us Americans.
-Books that "see no evil": These absolutely refuse to accept the fact that some Muslim Americans have embraced violent extremism and more infuriatingly act as if September 11 never happened and that things like the Patriot Act happened in a complete vacuum fueled by rampant anti-Muslim sentiment.
"Jihad Joe" mercifully falls into neither category. The book gives the truth...that some dozens of Americans --mostly Muslims-- have embraced violent extremism. And while this number is miniscule, people such as that can kill a lot of people and harm a country nonetheless.
"Jihad Joe" is very well researched and well written. I only wish it had some diagrams to depict the networks of individuals it discusses because all the names can get rather confusing. I also would have welcomed some photographs.
My only minor criticism is, I would have liked to see just a bit more discussion of the effect of humiliation, real or percieved, on the radicalization proccess. Since this is not a pyschological study of radicalization, it need not have been analyzed in clinical detail, but merely addressed in reference to the subjects and their choices.
I hope that Berger continues to write on this subject, which he clearly has a deep knowledge of. With Americans fighting in Syria as I write this, the world is providing ample material for another book.
It was interesting to see the distinction that our government made between jihadis and terrorists in the 1980s and very early 1990s. My own recollections post-9/11 is that any Muslims attempting to go overseas to fight would be considered a criminal even if the group being fought was not an American ally.
I would particularly recommend this book to young American Muslims who are just beginning to take on leadership roles in their mosques and other Muslim community organizations in the United States.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The book is a crock and full of nonsense. Don't waste your money. He accepts the 9-11 scenario as if it was real when most people that have researched 9-11 have found there is no... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Kim Hanna
I was looking forward to reading this book and when I finally ended up getting my copy, I had already finished reading Agent Storm. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Omer Idrees
Berger does a fantastic job with this book. Keeps your attention throughout and provides many many examples.Published 20 months ago by Kevin
What makes Americans living in comfort turn to Jihad? Berger's book provides some detail on why that may happen. Felt the book was quite interesting.Published on November 10, 2013 by Steve Jones
This very informative book helped me understand just how pervasive Islamic terrorism is in the United States. Read morePublished on June 7, 2013 by Rodger Thompson
I can't say enough complimentary things about this book. It's very well written, well researched and very informative. I look forward to reading other books by JM Berger.Published on January 12, 2013 by Jason
This book is a well researched and detail packed. Berger documents how Americans have been a part of the jihad movement and Al-Qaida since its inception and examines the reasons... Read morePublished on November 24, 2012 by Polical Science Woman
I thought Jihad Joe would be a tough read; the subject is pretty scary stuff. The material called for a master reporter who was also a fine storyteller, and that's Berger. Read morePublished on March 16, 2012 by mariann