Recent Reviews

“Leiken provides a historical, ethnic and socioeconomic context that identifies important differences as opposed to empty generalities.”

Kirkus Starred Review (Click Here For Full Review)

“…extensively sourced and robustly argued…Leiken wisely includes case 
studies of individual mujahideen in each country to balance his scholarly focus.

Timely and provocative, this is an important addition to the literature on Islamic terrorism.”

Publisher’s Weekly (Click Here For Full Review)

“He writes with eloquence, bringing to life the grim realities of the French banlieues and of the back-to-back houses of immigrant families in Leeds, where his requests for information met an impenetrable wall of silence.”

The Economist (Click Here For Full Review)

“Robert Leiken has written a first-rate study of problems of Muslim integration and adaptation in Europe. To call it a “popular account” would capture how good a read the book indeed is, but would scarcely capture the depth of the research he brings to bear on these questions. Leiken has little time for the fear-mongers who confound social conflicts with religious fanaticism. He is rightly worried about jihadis, but he knows that the overwhelming majority of Muslims interested in politics and religion are playing the European political game. He sees similar processes occurring all across Europe, but he is also aware of the strong contrasts in colonial and post-colonial trajectories among Britain, France, Germany, and other countries. No other writer on this subject has managed to combine a set of clear messages, accessible to a broad reading public, with this depth of scholarship.”

– John R Bowen, Church and State (Click Here For Full Review)

“Robert Leiken has a long record of sober, empirical and deep analysis in a field that is often clouded by ideological biases. Europe’s Angry Muslims demonstrates all of Leiken’s strengths and is a welcome addition to our understanding of a problem that is likely to deepen over time. Essential reading.”

– Peter Bergen, CNN

“Robert Leiken’s penetrating research and highly readable prose have brought alive some of the most dangerous terrorists Europe has seen. He uses their stories brilliantly to show us what their experiences do—and, importantly, what they do not—tell us about immigration and assimilation.  ‘Angry Muslims’ recounts bleak tales of the recent past, to be sure, but Leiken’s analysis leaves open the way to a more positive future.”

– Christopher Dickey, Newsweek

“Europe’s Angry Muslims documents, in a particularly vivid way, the evolution of immigrant communities in Europe and the enormously diverse impacts of the varied counter terrorism strategies pursued by Britain, France and Germany. An important contribution to understanding one of the greatest challenges to democracy today.”

– Francis Fukuyama, Stanford University

“This balanced book combines first hand reporting, based on interviews of former radicals, scrutiny of court records, historical background, and cutting-edge analysis to capture the complex phenomenon of European Islam. Leiken cites actual speeches and testimony from radical imams such as Abu Hamza, now under arrest. The author takes us to the streets of East London where veiled women shop in medieval market stalls, where arranged marriages are standard, and jihad videos available under the counter. We visit the Paris housing projects after the French riots of autumn 2005, with a local hero, a sincere Muslim and ex-rapper, who admires America. Perhaps most important, the book describes how good intentions and bottom lines, cheap labor and cheap grace paved the road to terror and social dislocation. It unravels the connections, real and imagined, between immigration and terrorism. In charting the path of radical Islam into Europe, the book examines how home grown terrorists linked up with radical mentors, deepening and reconfiguring the “clash of civilizations” debate. Europe’s Angry Muslims is the first book to provide an in-depth look at the emerging Islamic threat in Europe in an objective and comprehensive way, combining sharp-eyed reportage with a provocative, engaging narrative.”

– The New Statesman (Click Here For Full Review)

“Subtlety is not just this book’s virtue but also its calling card, its analytical objective. Leiken bills the whole effort as a call for nuance, specificity and complexity…

…a rich, even novelistic history of English race relations and labor economics, in the context of which the terrorists’ own estimates of the costs and benefits of radicalization become crystal-clear. These pages are extraordinary. Leiken’s account of the “noble, gentle, kind, honorable” drug counselor and child-minder, Mohammed Sidique Khan who became the bombers’ heartless ringleader, is the match of any in-depth account that has so far appeared…

…The poignant consequences for the typical immigrant’s children are laid out by Leiken with literary skill. “In Anatolia or Kabilya or the Rif, they can’t hold down the food,” he writes. “In Brussels, Paris, and Rotterdam, these young European Muslims can’t get past the bouncer at the nightclub entrance.” But the consequences were even worse for those who had inhabited Leeds before the influx of Third World labor. Leiken describes a graveyard in what was, as recently as the 1960s, a tight-knit Irish neighborhood of “back-to-back” houses:

The cemetery sits in disrepair, weeds having overgrown every plot without exception. Gravestones lie like fallen soldiers…. In their hundreds, not a single one marks a death after 1974. The graveyard is itself dead. The untended plots and the overturned headstones mark a demise and an exodus, signs that a community once inhabiting Beeston moved out as another, of a different faith, moved in. ”

– Christopher Caldwell, The New Republic (Click Here For Full Review)

“Leiken is an unusual scholar, a mixture of PhD academic, think tank independent, community organizer, and immersion journalist. The result is a book with much to teach about Muslim men and women who have settled in three European countries as well as the US. The book will almost surely infuriate some readers because Leiken refuses to demonize a religious community in toto. But it might infuriate other readers because in some chapters Leiken seems to rely on stereotypes while trying to lead a nuanced discussion. Perhaps the most appropriate caveat is this: While learning about new worlds from Leiken’s research, beware the unexpected turns; Europe’s Angry Muslims is a troubling book to consume, for many reasons…

He is a wide-ranging, freethinking scholar now past age 70 who lets his conclusions fall where they may, apparently without regard to intellectual trendiness or easily labeled political ideology.”

Christian Science Monitor (Click Here For Full Review)

“Leiken supports his anecdotal observations with the weight of academic and empirical studies, resulting in an immensely readable account that is also authoritative.”

– Literary Review

“He is particularly good when it comes to explaining the dynamics of migrant communities, their hopes and fears, concerns and aspirations. Part political scientist, part feature writer, Leiken paints an engaging portrait of European Muslim life. This is the greatest strength of Europe’s Angry Muslims. On the one hand it is able to illuminate a topic that might otherwise arc towards banality with vibrancy and colour. On the other, Leiken supports his anecdotal observations with the weight of academic and empirical studies, resulting in an immensely readable account that is also authoritative.”

– John Ware, Standpoint (Click Here For Full Review)

“Robert S. Leiken presents an engaging study of Muslims in Europe. The author, who defines himself as a “connoisseur of slums”, takes us inside some of Europe’s most notorious Muslims enclaves. Aware that analyzing Muslim anger in all European countries would end up in a book meant for a specialist but not the general public, Leiken decided to target both. “Europe’s Angry Muslims, The Revolt of the Second Generation”, focuses on the three European countries with the most Muslims: Britain, France and Germany.”

Arab News

“Written by American intellectual Robert S. Leiken, a self-described “connoisseur of slums” named so for his time spent in Mexico as a revolutionary organiser, Europe’s Angry Muslims focuses its attention on immigration as the key to understanding Europe’s growing Islamist problem. The book is not of course about all Muslims, nor is it an examination of Islam’s overall compatibility with European secularism, despite its cover, featuring two veiled French females appearing vaguely angry. The main subject of analysis is the “marginal man” who lives figuratively and physically between places like Beeston and Mirpur, between the alienation felt in his country of upbringing and the expectations of his parents and the “sender village”. This marginal man is Khaled Kelkal, an Algerian-born and Lyon-raised migrant who planted a bomb in a Paris metro station in 1995, killing eight. This marginal man is also Mohammed Sidique Khan, a Pakistani-British teaching assistant and member of Beeston’s Mullah Crew, the recognised leader of the 2005 London transport bombings. And he is also Cüneyt Ciftci, a German ethnic Turk who detonated a bomb near a government building in Afghanistan in 2008, killing himself and four others. Whether in the banlieues, Beeston, or rural Bavaria, for Leiken the marginal man harbours several binary tensions and his resulting alienation from the worlds he lives between ultimately finds vocation in violence.”

– Cheryl Brumley, London School of Economics Review of Books (Click Here For Full Review)

“The multiculturalist literature, with its tendency to pigeonhole people by culture, often fails to acknowledge the sheer diversity of this increasingly mixed-up world. More than ever, that must include the diversity to be found inside a single human skin, mind, and heart…  These are not just “immigrants.” Increasingly, they are people “with a migration background,” as the German government classifies them, or “postmigrants,” in Robert S. Leiken’s snappier phraseology.”

– Timothy Garton Ash, The New York Review of Books

“His approach is refreshingly free of both political correctness and sentimentality, and nor does he need to cosy up to minorities to win votes.”

– London Evening Standard (Click Here For Full Review)

“Leiken brings and interestingly broad perspective to the subject and takes time to get to grips with some of the detailed and nuanced, often conflicting, aspects of the topic. … the book is a very useful addition to the genre. It is written in a very accessible style and brings much-needed nuance and a well-grounded set of perspectives that help the reader to form a more rounded picture of the complex dynamics involved. Dilwar Hussain, The Muslim World Book Review Extensively sourced, robustly argued…timely and provocative. Publisher’s Weekly He writes with eloquence, bringing to life the grim realities of the French banlieues and of the back-to-back houses of immigrant families in Leeds, where his requests for information met an impenetrable wall of silence. The Economist A critical examination of the historical factors and conditions that produced the conflictual relations between the Muslim minority communities and their European hosts. Leiken’s narrative … produces important insights. Washington Times What Robert Leiken does most adeptly is to synthesise and consolidate much of the existing work from the last decade into a well-written study Literary Review An in-depth study, based on extensive field research and interviews, of the dynamics that have created the ground for Europe to become a hotbed of Islamist extremism by its second generation of Muslim immigrants.”

-Joshua Sinai, Perspectives on Terrorism (Click Here For Full Review)