Ed Husain’s The Islamist is the shocking inside story of British Islamic fundamentalism, told by a former radical.
‘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. As I recovered my faith and mind, 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 and the reasons I joined them, 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 and lay bare what politicians and Muslim ‘community leaders’ do not want you to know.’
Ed Husain was an Islamist radical for five years in his late teens and early twenties. Having rejected extremism he travelled widely in the Middle East and worked for the British Council in Syria and Saudi Arabia. Husain received wide and various acclaim for The Islamist, which was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize for political writing and the PEN/Ackerley Prize for literary autobiography, amongst others.