White Muslim: From L.A. to New York.to Jihad?

Bernhard, Brendan

Published by Melville House
ISBN 10: 0976658356 / ISBN 13: 9780976658351
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In the wake of 9/11, it's a perverse and puzzling phenomenon: A growing number of young, middle-class, white men from the American suburbs are embracing militant Islam. John Walker Lindh, the young Californian captured in Afghanistan fighting with the Taliban, is only the most extreme example of something that is becoming surprisingly widespread.

In a riveting investigation that started as a controversial cover story for L.A. Weekly, award-winning journalist Brendan Bernhard charts the journey of one such young man. "Charles" is a handsome young slacker from the Los Angeles suburb of Torrance who-inspired by the 9/11 tragedy itself-moves to New York City and starts wearing a white thobe tunic, driving a cab, and studying an increasingly militant and intolerant brand of Sunniism.

Bernhard walks the streets of New York with the cheerful and forthcoming Charles and joins him in his cab while he observes the infidels. The writer accompanies the young acolyte to prayer meetings at both a packed Upper East Side mosque and a tiny storefront in Queens. He interviews Charles' friends and family and talks to his teachers.

But Charles isn't the whole story. Bernhard also attends conversion classes and talks to other equally surprising converts. He depicts a Friday night prayer meeting complete with fire and brimstone sermon and profiles the Imam. He talks to numerous experts-both from the academy and the government-and learns more about the psychological underpinnings of the movement, which is going on in Europe as well.

Do we have something to fear from this phenomenon? Bernhard's findings make this far more than a profile of one searching young man. It is a gripping study of a fascinating subculture that is growing daily.

Brendan Bernhard is a correspondent for L.A. Weekly. His journalism has won numerous awards, including a PEN Center USA Literary Journalism Award, as well as numerous honors from the Los Angeles Press Club and the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies.

About the Author: Brendan Bernhard is a cultural reporter for The LA Weekly. His journalism has won numerous awards, including a PEN Center USA Literary Journalism Award, as well as numerous honors from the Los Angeles Press Club and the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies.

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Title: White Muslim: From L.A. to New York.to Jihad...
Publisher: Melville House
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: Fair

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