Since 9/11, there has been increasing concern about Islamic extremism in the United States and the potential threat it poses to homeland security. Pundits and policy makers, as well as the general public, ask legitimate questions about the role Islam plays in the assimilation, alienation, and radicalization of Muslims, particularly young Muslim men, in the United States. While such inquiries presume an uneasy relation between an alien Islamic culture and a native Western culture, in this lecture, Kambiz Ghanea Bassiri examines the recent arrest of Mohamed Mohamud to suggest that “radicalization” of Muslim youth, far from being an alien phenomenon, may be emblematic of the common media culture of our times.
Born in Tehran and educated at Harvard University, Kambiz GhaneaBassiri is a Carnegie Scholar and an Associate Professor of Religion and Humanities at Reed College since 2002. He is the author of A History of Islam in America: From the New World to the New World Order (Cambridge 2010).