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Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Throwing Bombs instead of Bacon sandwiches...

A radical view of UK Islamism

For anyone who thought that Brick Lane in the East End of London was all curry houses and wistful Jewish memory, Ed Husain’s startlingly honest account of growing up in the area’s Bangladeshi community, The Islamist: Why I Joined Radical Islam in Britain, What I Saw Inside and Why I Left (Penguin, £8.99) is a warning of how easily extremism can creep into a vacuum of belonging.

It is hardly news that Brick Lane has played host to poor immigrant communities, and been the site of religious battles. (It was here that Jewish anarchists pelted ultra-Orthodox worshippers with bacon sandwiches on Yom Kippur in 1904, outside what is now the Brick Lane Mosque.) But starting with his childhood days following his grandfather — a respected Sufi elder — Husain compellingly describes his journey of descent from the seemingly innocuous Young Muslim Organisation (YMO) to the radical Hizb ut-Tahrir.

“The Hizb”, as its adherents call it, is a political Islamic organisation seeking the establishment of an Islamic khalifya — caliphate — in the Middle East. Its members seem to know little about the “true” Islam of their forefathers, the prayer rituals, the nuances or even love espoused by the Prophet Mohammed. Instead, this is a world of angry young men, which leads to lies, confrontation and, eventually, murder: as witnessed by Husain.

This is a disturbing but educational read about the extremist mentality, and the grounds in which it breeds.


Penguin Website Synopsis:

When I was sixteen I became an Islamic fundamentalist. Five years later, after much emotional turmoil, I rejected fundamentalist teachings and returned to normal life and my family. I tried to put my experiences behind me, but as the events of 7/7 unfolded it became clear to me that Islamist groups pose a threat to this country that we — Muslims and non-Muslims alike — do not yet understand.

Why are young British Muslims becoming extremists? What are the risks of another home-grown terrorist attack on British soil? By describing my experiences inside these groups, the reasons I joined them and how, after leaving I recovered my faith and mind, I hope to explain the appeal of extremist thought, how fanatics penetrate Muslim communities and the truth behind their agenda of subverting the West and moderate Islam. Writing candidly about life after extremism, I illustrate the depth of the problem that now grips Muslim hearts and minds. I will lay bare what politicians and Muslim 'community leaders' do not want you to know.

This is the first time an ex-member openly discusses life within radical Islamic organisations. This is my story.

Penguin: The Islamist

with thanks to

The Jewish Chronicle: A radical view of UK Islamism

Amazon UK: The Islamist: Why I Joined Radical Islam in Britain, What I Saw Inside and Why I Left (Paperback)

1 Comment:

foodaholic said...

isit Bagel Junction in Newtown Pa to meet the Real Bagel Mavens.

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