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In his latest New York Times Op-Ed, investigative journalist Kurt Eichenwald (author of The Informant and Conspiracy of Fools) asks: How much information did the Bush administration have prior to the attack, and could they have acted on it? Eichenwald explains more in this interview with CBS News.
We begin with “Let the Great World Spin,” Colum McCann’s award-winning 2009 novel, a portrait of the city in perhaps its most vivid period of decline. Set in the 1970s, the book is a 9/11 narrative by implication, Mr. McCann’s idea being that New York is, fundamentally, a place where wondrous things rise from the ashes. We can argue (and I hope we will) about whether or not he is right in his assessment, but I think it is fair to say that above all, “Let the Great World Spin’’ is an enormously hopeful book.
In light of the tenth anniversary of 9/11, Random House is re-releasing Reza Aslan’s No god but God, which the Los Angeles Times Book Review calls an “eloquent, erudite paean to Islam in all of its complicated glory.”
In No god but God, internationally acclaimed scholar Reza Aslan explains Islam—the origins and evolution of the faith—in all its beauty and complexity. This updated edition addresses the events of the past decade, analyzing how they have influenced Islam’s position in modern culture. Aslan explores what the popular demonstrations pushing for democracy in the Middle East mean for the future of Islam in the region, how the Internet and social media have affected Islam’s evolution, and how the war on terror has altered the geopolitical balance of power in the Middle East. He also provides an update on the contemporary Muslim women’s movement, a discussion of the controversy over veiling in Europe, an in-depth history of Jihadism, and a look at how Muslims living in North America and Europe are changing the face of Islam. Timely and persuasive, No god but God is an elegantly written account that explains this magnificent yet misunderstood faith.
Here’s Middle East speaker Reza Aslan, quoted in the Huffington Post, on how Muslims can better integrate into American society:
The idea that education will lead to a lessening of bigotry is just factually incorrect. [Americans] don’t care about your religion. They don’t want to know more about Islam. Did people learn more about Judaism? No, there wasn’t a concerted effort to teach people about Jewish life or Jewish religion, the Jews integrated themselves into American life to the point that the argument that the Jews aren’t American sounded so stupid, that people stopped thinking it.
Just in: Middle East expert Reza Aslan’s TEDxConejo talk on unity in diversity gives you a glimpse into life as an Iranian-American. Aslan eloquently illustrates how Americans have always shared a common narrative, but he notes that attitudes have changed since September 11th, 2001. Today, nearly ten years after 9/11, anti-Muslim sentiment is actually higher than ever. How to reverse this tide of ill feelings? Social interaction and stories, specifically storytelling, can help us bridge any perceived differences, Aslan says. As he puts it, “Knowledge doesn’t change minds. Relationships change minds.”