Conversation with a Radicalized Muslim Youth

Subject Profile:

Age:   Fourteen

Interests:  Electrical Engineering, Law

Family Unit: Intact

Education:  Secular American schools

Statements given by the subject:

* Osama bin Laden worked for the C.I.A. until they turned on him.

* The Americans killed 300,000 civilians in Iraq.

* If a Muslim changes their name to a Christian name and attacks a mall, and if nobody finds out they are a Muslim,

they are not called a terrorist.  Only Muslims are called terrorists.

The fourteen year old repetitively used the term “the Americans” – as if detached from the very nation which has given him safe harbor and the potential for a bright future.

Deconstruction of each statement ensued. The phrases being spoken had the feel of being scripted responses, learned

within a distinct setting.  A deep resentment was noted when engaging a measured deconstruction dialogue with the young man.

Who will he grow up to be in America?  Will he level out to pursue the American dream and contribute to greater society?

Family does not have the greatest pull right now.  Who…. is pulling the emotional levers? And are these levers being pulled in the mosque?


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