Book Review: THE BLOOD OF LAMBS A Former Terrorist’s Memoir of Death and Redemption by Kamal Saleem
Reading The Blood of Lambs is like seeing a train coming straight at your house, your school, your gut, your bank account, and your children. I suppose you could put the book down and filter out politically incorrect thoughts, but that’s the problem. Put it down and, according to the book’s author Kamal Saleem, you will be an accomplice in the rape of your own nation. Radical Islam is counting on you not wanting to know what they are up to: clearing the world of infidels.
They hate Americans with as much passion as they hate Jews. Saleem writes, “Because if it were not for America, Israel would not exist.”
We realize that not all Muslims are extremists. However, according to studies Saleem cites, one in ten have declared war on our Western way of life.
The Blood of Lambs is a startling book, a nuanced version of the celebrated Italian journalist, Oriana Fallaci’s trilogy. The Rage and the Pride, The Strength of Reason, and Fallaci Interviews Herself were her scandalous wake up calls to Europe. We might not remember that after 9/11, Fallaci spoke out against Radical Islam. She was vilified worldwide by politicians, religious leaders, academics, and the media. They called her a a nut, a xenophobic blasphemer, a bigot and a racist. One extremist called upon Muslims everywhere to eliminate her and “to go die with Fallaci.”
Kamal Saleem, author of The Blood of Lambs, is admittedly not well-educated, but he has a engaging personality and the good-luck to have survived multiple death missions. He is a Lebanese-boy-turned-terrorist-turned-American author, who like Fallaci insists on spreading the word about Muslim infiltration of the Western world.
There is another overlap between the two. Before Fallaci spoke out against radical Muslims, she spent time in Beirut covering the country’s civil war, which went on for fifteen years beginning in 1975. She witnessed the evil that Saleem grew up knowing: ethnic cleansing, terrorist training camps, the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, and the PLO. No doubt the same evil provided a framework for Fallaci’s trilogy as Saleem’s coming of age memoir.
Rather than a tirade, Saleem’s book is surprisingly tender in its love for family and god, its poeticArabic metaphors, and its supplication to childhood innocence. Hate turned his childhood innocence into a cause for Allah. His mother, a zealot like so many mothers in his neighborhood, gathered her family around the dinner table. “You can kill a Jew just for being a Jew,” she instructed. “And on the day of Judgement your right hand will light up before the throne of Allah.”
When he was seven, the Muslim Brotherhood claimed Saleem as their own, training him to be a jihadist. Saleem believed his teachers had power, vision, and passion and they cared about him in a way his own father did not. The same year he was drafted, the Brotherhood disguised him as a bedouin shepherd, strapped a pack of explosives on his back, and convinced him to crawl through a five-mile tunnel to deliver the weaponry to PLO operatives in Israel. He was seven years old.
Listen, Saleem writes: American kids go to summer camp to sing around the campfire and to play tennis. At the same age, hundreds of thousands of Muslim boys are learning to die for the glory of Islam, to fire missiles, and to take apart and reassemble AK-47s.
During his training, Saleem witnessed a ten-year old friend’s head explode in a gritty mess of blood and bone right in front of him. The dead boys mother whistled with joy to learn her son had died for Allah.
The book will hook you. As you read on, you find out about Saleem’s meeting Yasar Arafat, his second killing mission into Israel when he was eleven, his involvement in Lebanon’s civil war, his mid-teens assignment in Afghanistan. All along the way he murdered, killed, and exploded buildings and bodies for Allah.
At first, the writing in the book struck me as simplistic: simple sentences, awkward similes. (The book is co-written) But the directness of his message rode on the simple sentences. The metaphors were clearly pure. His sincerity remained seamless. The echos within the story struck my heart; the writer stood on the side of love. Despite the atrocities he committed, I accepted him: not an easy task for a writer who presents such a duplicitous story.
The book does point out contradictions within the Muslim faith: the irritating pecking order between Lebanese, Syrian, Saudi and Palestinian Muslims. The conflict between Sunni and Shia. Could inconsistent elements stop the radical movement? Saleem doesn’t think so. The Muslim faith is a religion of discipline. According to Saleem, they have a long-term plan to enforce Shiria law in Europe and America and get rid of the Jews in Israel. It may take ten years or two hundred.
By age 17 Saleem was fluent in both English and French, in addition to Arabic. The Muslim Brotherhood, knowing they had a jewel, sent Saleem to etiquette school so he could hobnob with Saudi sheiks. In his twenties he funneled huge sums of money to Allah’s cause. You see, according to Muslim faith, the rich are obliged to participate in jihad. They don’t send themselves or their sons to do battle. They send money. In the States, Saleem writes, the oil money was washed in real estate deals and in Muslim-owned corner grocery stores and gas stations.
In the 70’s, when Saleem first entered America, his assignment was to plant the seeds of jihad, and pay particular attention to the young people. He, and others, started on university campuses, infiltrating groups like Muslim American Youth Association; they organized cells in major cities; they carefully recruited converts in poverty stricken neighborhoods and jails. They bought up those corner grocery stores and gas stations and selected and developed homegrown terrorists.
This all may ring as old news to you, news you don’t want to read again. But like me, you may have not realized the extend of Sharia law already operating in our beloved country. For example, Saleem notes that the airport authorities in Minneapolis have suggested it would be all right for Muslim cab drivers to refuse passengers who are Orthodox Jews and people carrying alcohol. They just have to mark their cabs “Sharia.” In Oak Park, California, Saleem writes, there have been successful attempts to establish Muslim prayer rituals in public schools.
The Blood of Lambs is a must read. Our children ought to become familiar with the vocabulary…but then again, as a nation, are we so polite and all embracing of other religions and cultures that we do not want to taint our children’s political correctness? Saleem repeatedly said, Radical Islamist are counting on cultural taboos to further their cause. Just as Oriana Fallaci pointed out less than a decade ago, Westerners are blinded by generous multiculturalism.
Saleem is no longer a Muslim. In Islam a Muslim who converts to Christianity is worse than a Jew. This is the only part of the book that made me uncomfortable: Saleem’s conversion to Christianity. I knew it was coming and didn’t want Jesus to take over the narrative. He didn’t. Saleem converts and does not harp on about his conversion. More so, Saleem reiterates his mission to speak out and spread knowledge about Radical Islam.
What does he want Americans to know?
- Islamic doctrine allows Muslim to lie to enemies (Christians, Jews, Americans) for the sake of Islam.
- The enemies’ property (women, children, money, house, country) belongs to Allah.
- True Muslims sleep with as many of the enemy’s women in order to seed the world with Muslim blood.
- Devote Muslims are expected to complete the conquest Mohammed began, which is to establish a global calipha, or world dominance.
- Wherever a Muslim lives, he or she must call for Sharia law.
- No nation should be richer than a Muslim nation.
Early on in the memoir, Saleem reminds readers that in the days after 9-11 “moderate” Muslims did not cry out against atrocities done in their name. Rather, all over the world–including New York, Chicago, Houston, and in Michigan–so called moderate Muslims celebrated about what happened to America: the sword of Islam had cut down the great Satan. “Radical Muslims actually danced in American streets,” he writes. “And America allowed them to dance.”
The Blood of Lambs cites strong references to childhood and imprints rather profound images regarding innocence and the impact of its loss. The smell and sight of slaughtered sheep, a child praying on the roof of his apartment building, neighborhood bullies beatings up small children, and seven to eleven year-olds on death marches are images that stick.
Salem writes, that the people who are like he used to be never get tired, never run out of time or money; they are headed straight at Americans. Not even for a second, do they consider that it is not right to corrupt innocence, to take blood from lambs, to slaughter families, or to turn babies–ours or theirs–into weapons.
It’s hard to accept that Radical Muslims are so radical, or to not wonder if Saleem sensationaized his story in order to sell books. Despite the nagging questions, I am recommending this book.
352 pages $23.98
Howard Books (April 7, 2009)