Fighting Extremism Online (Revisited)

Matt Lewis
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Posted: Jun 18, 2009 4:53 PM

Children of Jihad: A Young American's Travels Among the Youth of the Middle East

Last year, I intereviewed Jared Cohen, to promote the paperback release of his book, "Children of Jihad". 

Here's an excerpt from my post:

To many Americans, text messages and Facebook accounts may seem like just quirky features of Generation Y, but in the developing world, they are drastically reshaping the fabric of society.  Cohen should know; this young Jewish-American Rhodes scholar defied foreign governments and travelled to hostile Middle Eastern nations -- in order to interview young people (some of whom were members of terrorist organizations) – for Children of Jihad.  In some nations, Cohen explains, new technology is helping awaken civil rights in places where they previously did not exist. In Egypt, for example, a national student strike was organized via Facebook. In Saudi Arabia, thousands of women anonymously signed a Facebook petition calling for their right to drive a car, and the largest anti-terrorist demonstration in Columbia’s history was touched off by a Facebook group targeting the communist F.A.R.C. rebels.

In light of the Iranian elections, I thought this post was even more relevant now than when I wrote it.

Read the whole thing here.