My Journey Out of Islamist Extremism

Book - 2013
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Maajid Nawaz spent his teenage years listening to American hip-hop and learning about the radical Islamist movement spreading throughout Europe and Asia in the 1980s and 90s. At 16, he was already a ranking member in Hizb ut-Tahrir, a London-based Islamist group. He quickly rose through the ranks to become a top recruiter, a charismatic spokesman for the cause of uniting Islam's political power across the world. Nawaz was setting up satellite groups in Pakistan, Denmark, and Egypt when he was rounded up in the aftermath of 9/11 along with many other radical Muslims.
He was sent to an Egyptian prison where he was, fortuitously, jailed along with the assassins of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. The 20 years in prison had changed the assassins' views on Islam and violence; Maajid went into prison preaching to them about the Islamist cause, but the lessons ended up going the other way. He came out of prison four years later completely changed, convinced that his entire belief system had been wrong, and determined to do something about it.

He met with activists and heads of state, built a network, and started a foundation, Quilliam, funded by the British government, to combat the rising Islamist tide in Europe and elsewhere, using his intimate knowledge of recruitment tactics in order to reverse extremism and persuade Muslims that the 'narrative' used to recruit them (that the West is evil and the cause of all of Muslim suffering), is false.  Radical, first published in the UK, is a fascinating and important look into one man's journey out of extremism and into something else entirely.

This U.S. edition contains a "Preface for US readers" and a new, updated epilogue.


Publisher: Guilford, Conn. : Globe Pequot Press, 2013
ISBN: 9780762791361
Branch Call Number: 297.092 Nawaz
Characteristics: xxvi, 270 p
Additional Contributors: Bromley, Tom 1972-


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Sep 04, 2017

An excellent look at the intellectual awakening of a committed Islamist to the need for universal Human rights as the only way to bridge differences with respect to race and religion. The old definition of liberty is being forgotten as an integral aspect of Democracy. People should really take heed of the author's disdain for many on the "left" that condemn his views with respect to not confronting Islamism (as opposed to Islam). This book is a good example of the downfall of identity politics and the "others" . There is a good deal of insight to be taken from this book. Well worth reading.

Apr 23, 2016

Nawaz's journey starts from his childhood in the U.K., surrounded by his feelings of isolation as a result of racism. He eventually becomes radicalized into HT, spends 4 years in an Egyptian prison and ultimately realizes his belief system is terribly flawed. He then begins the process of self-examination and personal growth. He continues to work to educate young Muslims in order to prevent the same pitfalls into which he fell. Only when humans can rise above racial and religious ignorance and intolerance can we all then hope for peace.

Dec 23, 2015

Very educational book on our current issues with ISIS and Islam. He takes you through all 5 emotions of Grief, leaving you with a much better education on what Islamist Extremism is. You will change your attitude to the news being reported on the Terrorist actions around the world and how the people are reporting it.
Who better to educate you on what is actually happening with Islamism - than a person that practiced, organized and recruited people for the cause. Lastly - this has been going on for hundreds of years - its not our fault.

Feb 07, 2015

Maajid Nawaz, born in Great Britain, but of Pakistani parents, felt surrounded by threatening skin-heads, so for self-protection he joined a Paskistani youth gang. Eventually, he joined Hizb ut-Tahrir, an extremist Islamic (yet mostly non-violent) group and became a world-wide recruiter for the group. The book tells the story of his evolution into the group and then his evolution out of the group. HT has about a million members world-wide, but I have never even heard of it. To me, this suggests that Western media ignores non-Western culture and politics, yet favors such extremist white political personalities as Louis Gohmert, Steven King, Ted Cruz and Michelle Bachmann. Maybe this in itself is one of the reasons why so many Islamic youth are being drawn into such movements as ISIS.

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