by Katherine C. Donahue
Pluto Press, 2007
Paper: 978-0-7453-2619-1 | Cloth: 978-0-7453-2620-7
Library of Congress Classification KF225.M68D65 2007

In 2006, Zacarias Moussaoui became the first person to stand trial for the events of September 11, 2001. This timely book provides a close insight into the Moussaoui trial from an anthropological perspective. Katherine C. Donahue was present at the trial. Based on first-hand evidence, this book provides a unique picture of an al Quaeda convert in the process of forming his identity just when he is calling the death sentence upon himself. It is the story of an extra-national opposition to western democracy, seen through the experience of a man who calls himself a "slave of Allah."

The book begins with his arrest and moves to the courtroom, telling the tale of Moussaoui's struggle with his defense lawyers and raising questions about his ability to be "represented" given his national and personal identity. Donahue explores his background in France as the son of Moroccan immigrants and follows him to London, Afghanistan, and Malaysia as he joins the growing fraternity of an Islam without borders. He acquires an extra-national identity in which his loyalty is no longer constituted by his national identity, but by his allegiance to fundamental Islam.