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A Mosque in Munich: Nazis, the CIA, and the Rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in the West Paperback – Bargain Price, August 10, 2011
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In the wake of the news that the 9/11 hijackers had lived in Europe, journalist Ian Johnson wondered how such a radical group could sink roots into Western soil. Most accounts reached back twenty years, to U.S. support of Islamist fighters in Afghanistan. But Johnson dug deeper, to the start of the Cold War, uncovering the untold story of a group of ex-Soviet Muslims who had defected to Germany during World War II. There, they had been fashioned into a well-oiled anti-Soviet propaganda machine. As that war ended and the Cold War began, West German and U.S. intelligence agents vied for control of this influential group, and at the center of the covert tug of war was a quiet mosque in Munich radical Islam's first beachhead in the West. Culled from an array of sources, including newly declassified documents, A Mosque in Munich interweaves the stories of several key players: a Nazi scholar turned postwar spymaster; key Muslim leaders across the globe, including members of the Muslim Brotherhood; and naive CIA men eager to fight communism with a new weapon, Islam. A rare ground-level look at Cold War spying and a revelatory account of the West's first, disastrous encounter with radical Islam, A Mosque in Munich is as captivating as it is crucial to our understanding the mistakes we are still making in our relationship with Islamists today.
Photographs from Ian Johnson, Author of A Mosque in Munich
(Click on images to enlarge)
A Q&A with Ian Johnson:
(Photo © Otto Pohl)
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
While author Ian Johnson never reveals the basis of his interest in this subject, nor the foundation of his obvious expertise, he shares a significant cautionary tale. Any person who finds the text too disturbing to consider is tantamount to that famous ostrich burying its head in the sand.
Carefully, patiently, Johnson leads his readers through the history of Muslim activism in the 20th Century.
The post-Revolutionary Soviets abused their sizeable Muslim minority, setting the way for Soviet Muslims to be lured into the anti-Soviet movement that existed in Nazi Germany.
After World War II ended, it was this same group of Muslims who did not want to be returned by the Allies to their counterparts in the Soviet Union where, almost certainly, they would have been executed as traitors.
By this point, the unofficial "cold war" between the Americans and Soviets had begun. The Americans, in the form of the precursor organization of the CIA, decided to use these former Nazi soldiers -- Nazi soldiers who had begun as Muslim residents of the Soviet Union -- in the same way that the Nazis had attempted to use them, to infiltrate the Communist state.
Of course, no foreign power used these Muslims. They always had their own agenda to further the cause of Islam in ways that now have become well-known in the contemporary world. They willingly accepted funding from Western powers but they had no interest in, or loyalty to, the goals of the country or countries funding them. This probably is equally true of the countries which provided the funding: Reciprocally, these were self-serving relationships.Read more ›
After the "Contents" page, one encounters a two page "Cast of Characters" section that identifies the persons to be encountered in the book divided into four groups, "The Main Actors, The Americans, The Germans, and The Muslim Brotherhood." At first I wondered why the author placed that information right at the beginning of the book; after reading the first few chapters I found myself grateful to the author for his thoughtfulness.
The level of detail I found in this book was intimidating and very humbling; most of the information presented was entirely new to me, but concerned things that have profoundly affected the United States since the late 1930's and continue to influence world events even now.
This book traces the development of the Muslim influence in Europe from the Second World War, and the establishment, growth and eventual dominance of the Muslim Brotherhood in what is now called the European Union.
The creation of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt by Sheikh al-Banna is described along with the world view espoused by the group. The author writes on pages 109-110: "Banna subscribed to the Koran's message that there is no division between state and religion, which was expressed in the group's most famous slogan: THE KORAN IS OUR CONSTITUTION. JIHAD IS OUR WAY. MARTYDOM IS OUR DESIRE. In one tract, he wrote, "If someone should say to you `This is politics!Read more ›
There is a very good description of the the beginning of an Islamic movement in Munich, related to the massive influx of all types of refugees and Displaced Persons after wars end. Explored are the NAZI connections to the stoking of the Muslim flame and how the Germans used entire Muslim units during the war to fight the Russians,and later, to fight the propaganda war against the Communists. After the war, several high-ranking NAZI's were in positions of power in the government of West Germany, now fighting a different ideological war - the Cold War. The author emphasizes the conflicting enterprises supported by the US (CIA) and West Germany after the war to further expand their ranks to be used in the propaganda battles of which the Cold War was comprised.
An unmentioned or briefly dwelt-upon subject in past books, the author summons a prodigious complexity of facts (some only recently made available by the Freedom of Information Act) in the most compelling possible manner. This allows for the understanding of just how certain Islamic groups began their rise to power, with Germany and the US unwittingly birthing a new brand of fundamentalism. Most of the story hinges upon the building of the first mosque in Munich and the international cast contributing both financially and ideologically to the rise of this one building,which represents the Muslim countries as a whole.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I forced myself to read 3/4 of the book. It started with a good story but the author repeated himself over and over. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Margaret Hess
This gives an interesting perspective on a little known side of Islam in Europe. Despite the rantings of a couple of other posters I find the account reasonably objective. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Elena
This book is an overall revelation, mostly when it deals with how the Nazis, West Germany’s Intelligence goons and the CIA co-opted the terrorist rabble of the Muslim Brotherhood... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Declan Hayes
This book is an eye opener. The Muslim Brotherhood is so tied in with the intelligence community one has to wonder what is going on today in Iraq and Syria. Read morePublished 23 months ago by "Strange Affair"
This book is well written and informative. I have been following this piece of history for a while now. It was difficult to put the book down. Read morePublished on December 15, 2013 by Barbara Howell
DOES THE CIA WORK FOR A SECRET GOV OR AMERICA WHEN RECRUITING TERRORISTS? SHOULD CONGRESS CLOSE DOWN THE CIA AS AN OUT OF DATE AGENCY?Published on December 1, 2013 by Dr. Ronald Cutburth
Ian Johnson's book was already fascinating enough when it came out in 2011; the Arab Spring and the Muslim Brotherhood's downfall in Egypt now makes 'A Mosque in Munich' required... Read morePublished on July 15, 2013 by David CT