Final Word from Friday, July 29, 2005





Surprisingly little has been said about an interview in LN last Sat. with Samer Shehaden, a Czech-born Palestinian who works at the Islamic Information Center. His hostile comments about the "war" waged by the U.S. and Israel against Muslims were apparent confirmation that second- and third-generation Muslims are radicalizing. Much has been said about the frustrations that lead to this, but Shehaden has actually assimilated well into local society. He seems to be an example of what Eric Hoffer wrote about in 1951 in The True Believer. Hoffer said that both the least-assimilated and the most-assimilated of a minority group are the most responsive to the appeal of a proselytizing mass movement. The more someone like Shehaden is urged to abandon his culture, the more foreign he will feel, Hoffer teaches us. This suggests that assimilation alone is not the answer to Muslim radicalization.[Czech Republic United States Iraq Palestine Lidové noviny]

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