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Louis Untermeyer

American Jihad: The Terrorists Living Among Us

By Steven Emerson
The Free Press, 261 pp, 2002

This is a very informative and helpful book. Its title is a bit misleading, though. Rarely does Emerson point to specific terrorists and the American town he lives in. Instead, Emerson offers an overview of American-based organizations that sponsor conferences for terrorist speakers, recruit for terrorist organizations, provide funds to terrorist organizations, and spread the propaganda of terrorist organizations.

Emerson acknowledges that these groups have done nothing illegal, but they have supported illegal terrorist groups. As a result, several terrorist organizations like Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and even Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda are firmly entrenched in this country.

It's pretty scary stuff. Terrorists come to the U.S. all the time and give speeches that incite hatred and violence toward America and Jews. These terrorists actually call for violence against the U.S. It's very ironic, because they are using freedoms in this country they would deny to others.

Remember the 1993 World Trade Center bombing that killed six and wounded hundreds? The terrorists who did that were connected to a U.S. network of other terrorists, some of whom were American.

Who are these American organizations? They include:

  • American Muslim Council (AMC)
  • Muslim Arab Youth Association (MAYA)
  • Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
  • Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA)
  • Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC)
  • American Muslim Alliance (AMA)
  • Islamic Society of North America, the largest Muslim organization in the U.S.

Emerson presents in sometimes excruciating detail the ties these groups have with terrorists. But he also portrays a few brave moderate Muslims who speak out against these groups. People like Sheikh Kabbani, the late Seifeldin Ashmawy (he died in a car crash in 1998), and Emerson's friend Khalid Duran. These men have all suffered death threats and recrimination in condemning the violence and hatred of the fundamentalist Muslim terrorists. They should be applauded, encouraged, and supported, because even they concede they are losing the battle against the fundamentalists for the soul and future of Islam.

Educate yourself about what is going on. These people who hate America aren't just foreign-born and living in a country thousands of miles away. Many are citizens, and aiding these terrorists to spread their violent, hate-filled, and demented message.

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