Home, Land, Security: Deradicalization and the Journey Back from Extremism

Carla Power. One World, $28 (352p) ISBN 978-0-525-51057-4
Journalist Power (If the Oceans Were Ink) surveys in this deeply reported and ultimately optimistic account efforts to deradicalize violent extremists. Through interviews with the family members of Westerners who joined ISIS, Power humanizes militant jihadists and offers insights into the forces that push people toward extremism. In one of the book’s most astounding sections, a mother recalls her 19-year-old son, who had run away from home in England, calling from Iraq to ask if he could ride his commander’s motorbike. (“To hear him ask for permission over the phone,” Power writes, “was to hear the old Rasheed, the biddable boy who’d call [his mother] if he was going to be even ten minutes late coming home.”) Power also documents the successes and setbacks of rehabilitation programs in Denmark, Germany, and Indonesia, and makes the argument that reforming extremists offers greater security than imprisoning them. In the U.S., Power traces the winding but ultimately successful deradicalization of a Somali American teenager who tried to join ISIS. Turning to preventative measures, Power describes how a Flemish city has successfully integrated Muslim immigrants by fostering “social mixing” in schools and neighborhoods, demilitarizing the police, and investing in public works. Interweaving intimate character profiles and in-depth research, this is a nuanced look at a critical yet overlooked front in the fight against extremism. Agent: Erin Harris, Folio Literary Management. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 06/28/2021
Release date: 09/07/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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