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Bitter Ironies

Murder in Amsterdam: The Death of Theo Van Gogh and the Limits of Tolerance by Ian Buruma

Reviewed by Peter Beinart
Washington Post Book World

"In America, radical Islam is a foreign policy problem. It is, in the Bush administration's familiar litany, the successor to Nazism and communism: an alien ideology, bred overseas, that threatens to bring destruction to America's shores. But in Europe, as Ian Buruma explains in Murder in Amsterdam, radical Islam is something different: less a foreign policy problem than a domestic one. It is alien but also strangely intimate. Islam, as Buruma notes — following the French scholar Olivier Roy — has (again) become a European religion. And while Europeans may be horrified by its mutant totalitarian strain, they can hardly view totalitarianism with innocent eyes, given that it too has deep roots in European soil." Read the entire Washington Post Book World review.

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