Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ian Johnson

From a Q&A with Ian Johnson, author of A Mosque in Munich:

Q: We're inundated with books on Islam and Europe and so on. Why another?

A: Two reasons. The simplest is because this story is important and hasn't been told before. It starts in World War II with the Nazis deciding they could use Muslims to fight the Soviet Union. Then, after the war, the very same group of Muslims are recruited by the CIA to do the same thing--fight the Soviets by using Islam. This group is then taken over by the Muslim Brotherhood, which uses Munich as a beachhead to spread into the West. This is twenty years before Afghanistan and the muhajadeen; it's the prequel to a lot of what's gone on since. Plus this continues right up to the present. The Muslim Brotherhood still plays a key role in setting a radicalized agenda for Islam in Europe. It's no coincidence that the mosque in Munich is associated with many major terrorist attacks in the West, including the two attacks on the World Trade Center. As our governments try to figure out how to deal with Islam, we need to know our own history first.

Q: So it's important.

A: To be honest, my roots are in journalism and I like colorful stories. This is a really strange one with memorable characters. The people involved are so bizarre that they sound like the start of a joke: you have a brilliant Nazi linguist, a CIA man who's a nudist and a radical Muslim on the lam…

Q: I'm afraid to hear the punch line. You...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue