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The Terrorist's Son: A Story of Choice (TED Books) Hardcover – September 9, 2014
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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"Ebrahim’s life is an eloquent plea to terrorists — indeed, to anyone who commits violence out of bigotry and hatred — to stop and consider the impact on children. His tale speaks to the suffering of children everywhere — in Gaza, Israel, Iraq, Syria, Nigeria — who are caught up in the raging intolerance of adults. In emotional detail, the terrorist’s son takes us through the traumas of his life — school bullying, social withdrawal, feelings of suicidal worthlessness — that dogged him from the moment his mother awakened the boy in his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle pajamas to inform him that something was horribly wrong and they had to flee immediately from their home in Cliffside Park, N.J." (Washington Post)
"[A] book you can't put down. Hearing the story of Zak Ebrahim—the son of El-Sayyid Nosair who, when Ebrahim was just 7 years old, killed the leader of the Jewish Defense League and went on to plan the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center from prison—is one thing. (A gut-wrenching, how-is-this-real-life? thing.) Reading it in intimate, terrifying detail—the confusion, the bullying, the burden—is another. (An even more gut-wrenching, how-is-this-real-life? thing.) The Terrorist's Son... tells a detailed account of Ebrahim's story, shared at a TED talk, of his impossibly brutal childhood and adolescence and how he became nothing like his dad." (GQ)
"In his powerful, affecting memoir (written with former EW deputy editor Jeff Giles), he says, ''My father lost his way — but that didn't stop me from finding mine.'' (Entertainment Weekly)
"The author's father helped plan the 1993 Wold Trade Center bombing. Instead of following in those violent footsteps, Ebrahim now speaks out against terrorism. An astonishing memoir." (People)
About the Author
Zak Ebrahim was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on March 24, 1983, the son of an Egyptian industrial engineer and an American school teacher. When Ebrahim was seven, his father shot and killed the founder of the Jewish Defense League, Rabbi Meir Kahane. From behind bars his father, El-Sayyid Nosair, co-masterminded the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. Ebrahim spent the rest of his childhood moving from city to city, hiding his identity from those who knew of his father. He now dedicates his life to speaking out against terrorism and spreading his message of peace and nonviolence.
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As an immigrant myself, I have faced prejudice, discrimination and downright animosity. But I have stood up and never given an inch to bigotry and prejudice. Nosair, probably faced the same hurdles in his life, but he chose the easy way out. He chose reverse immigration, back to the life he had left behind. Instead of proving that he was as good as or better than the detractors, he chose to take refuge amongst the low self-esteem, less educated radical anti-American Muslims.
Islam, if not politicized, is as good or as bad as any other religion. Unlike the popular belief, Islam is not inherently belligerent. Islam is nothing more than a set of old, outdated beliefs as are Christianity and Judaism with the expiration date long past. But politicized Islam combined with the overall low levels of education in the Islamic world is something any sane person should be afraid of. And Nosair fell in this trap, or may be, he never left the trap.
The book, although a tale of a child’s journey to manhood, makes a very interesting reading for new immigrants and the traps they encounter along the way. It shows the devastation of a family that was sacrificed at the altar of an ideology of hate. A hate that is strengthened by the ignorance and lack of adequate education in the Islamic world and a mismanagement of resources and policies by the Western world. Any ideology is confining, but those with the upside down roots in the sky are the worse kind. Politicized Islam, Hindu Nationalism, Aggressive Zionism and others of this religiously inspired are the enemies of civilized world. Nosair chose to willingly take that bondage and sacrifice his family for what he thought was a higher calling.
At the moment, we happened to be facing the Islamic ideology of hate; and we think we can bomb this enemy away. We, in the US, find it easier to build more prisons to keep criminals in, rather than building more schools to prevent the making of those criminals from the start. We do the same in our foreign policy, we spend billions, even trillions, punishing those fighting against us, but refrain from adequately support modern education and addressing their, mostly legitimate, grievances before they become radicalized and take up arm against us. Lobbies run our government, commerce run our media and shapes our knowledge and understanding of the world. Therefore we are the most detached, uninterested, aloof and to a large extend ignorant nation on the face of the earth. When Johnny Cash said: “Country music is loved all over the world and Canada too!” he spoke for all of us who see the world as the United States of America only.