MASON CITY, Iowa - The son of a man accused of plotting a U.S. terrorist attack from behind bars is speaking with students at NIACC, talking about his book "The Terrorist's Son", and finding his own path to peace.
Zak Ebrahim was only 7 years old when officials say his father El-Sayyid Nosair shot and killed the leader of the Jewish Defense League, Rabbi Meir Kahane, in 1990. When Nosair was in prison, he, along with several others, formed plans for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, which killed 6 people and injured over 1,000.
Over two decades later, Ebrahim is sharing his story with students on how he rejected radical ideologies he was subjected to while growing up. He says there were several reasons as to why he wrote his story, like showing people what it's like to be indoctrinated into an ideology. Another important message for Ebrahim is to show that the vast majority of Muslims weren't exposed to the same ideology he was.
"If someone like me who was exposed to precisely the type of ideology that so many people are fearful of could grow up to be a peace activist, then what does that say about the vast majority of Muslims in the world?"
Ebrhaim says the definition of terrorism needs to change, saying that it's based on something arbitrary, like a person's religion or skin color.
"In the United States, I think that terrorism is certainly been on the rise for people who are born and raised here, and we need to address the reasons that people could be compelled to want to use violence. Unless we can have that conversation, I'm not sure that we'll find out a real solution."
The book was published in September 2014.
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