In 2002 Jim Sciutto began filing in-depth reports on the Middle East for ABC News. Now, after nearly 100 assignments in Muslim countries, Sciutto brings back this disturbing truth: the Al-Qaeda–inspired view of an evil America bent on destroying Islam has moved from the fringes to the mainstream. Today, a surprising number of America’s enemies are not wild-eyed fanatics, but moderates—often middle-class and well educated, frequently young, many motivated by political convictions more than religious belief.
Sciutto profiles a cross-section of people in the Arab world, including a former Al-Qaeda jihadi turned electrician in Saudi Arabia, a Jordanian college student willing to risk his life by killing Americans in Baghdad, a Christian woman who supports Hezbollah in Lebanon, bitter pro-democracy advocates in Egypt who feel betrayed by the United States, and British-born Muslim terrorists living in London. The result is an alarming portrait of the depth and scope of anti-American sentiment.
Opposing America has become the unifying rallying cry for a rapidly growing pan-Arab nationalist movement. Conspiracy theories abound as Muslims begin to feel they are targeted by America, their political autonomy sabotaged. The Iraq war has become one of the most powerful recruiting tools for enemies of the United States.
Yet there is hope for America to turn the tide of hate. Sciutto talks with a young female student in Afghanistan who is cautiously optimistic that the United States will not fail her country in the rebuilding effort—and with a reformed jihadi in London who is finding ways to counsel young British Muslims away from their hatred of America. Democratic ideals are still held in high esteem, even as America’s perceived actions against Muslims are not.
Against Us is an urgent wake-up call for all Americans—and in particular those charged with formulating U.S. foreign policy—to rebuild relations with the Arab world and restore confidence in American values.