This is radical Islam? – By Holly Lebowitz Rossi – Slate Magazine

March 5, 2007

This is radical Islam? – By Holly Lebowitz Rossi – Slate Magazine

Rossi’s main point in this review is that Gartenstein-Ross inflates his resume, as it were, and in the process deprives the reading public of a chance to appreciate how evil the fringe he barely flirted with really is:

The book would be better titled My Yearlong Internship at a Charity That I Had No Idea Was Funding al-Qaida. But that would hardly make the front table at Barnes and Noble, would it?

Rossi is right, although she seems to underestimate the extent to which Gartenstein-Ross is “John Walker Lindh, interrupted.” The Haramayn Foundation, for which he worked, really was an organization dedicated to spreading extreme Wahhabism. Converts, especially converts, are like flypaper for the most extreme crackpots. And as the New Yorker
s excellent article
on Gadahn – and the work of Marc Sageman, which it sites – clearly show, the path from discussion group to training camp can be a very short and slippery one – a matter more of socialization and self-image than of ideological commitment. So both Rossi and Gartenstein-Ross exaggerate their positions, to the detriment of the American public’s ability to grasp the full picture.


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