Wednesday, July 29, 2009

All About Al Queda

Osama bin Laden's head. That's where I have been for the last couple of weeks. I finally finished reading The Looming Tower: Al Qaeda and the Road to 9/11. Wow. The breadth of research and the understandable delivery are beyond impressive. Lawrence Wright apparently interviewed 1,000 people in the Muslim world and it shows. I now know how this terrorist group evolved, starting in Egypt after World War II. It is fascinating how the pieces fit together: the formation of Israel, the sudden vast wealth of Saudi Arabia, the Soviet/Afghan War and the communication breakdown between the FBI and the CIA. Even the influence of the Kinsey report, the Monica Lewinsky scandal...and so much more. I have a clearer understanding of why these Islamic extremists hate America. A highly recommended read for every American adult. "Know thy enemy," as they say.

I became curious about books available for children on this subject. A well written book by Philip Margulies is titled Al Qaeda: Osama Bin Laden's Army of Terrorists. I found it to be organized, with just the right amount of information. And the last chapter is thought provoking.
"One person's terrorist is another person's freedom fighter. After all, the rebellious American colonists were once considered terrorists by the English government."

Margulies raises great discussion questions about the French Resistance in World War II, Hamas in Israel and how terrorists come to be.

Ages 9-12

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