By Maajid Nawaz. 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 and charismatic spokesman for the cause of uniting Islam’s political power globally. 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 and 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 a changed man--convinced 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. Lyons Press (2013), English, Hardcover: 296 pages.
“This is a book for our times. It should be read by anyone who wants to understand how the extremism that stalks our world is created and how it can be overcome...” - Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair
"...An absorbing story of the making and unmaking of a young, radicalized Muslim. The book is candid, dynamic, important…and brave." - Lesley Stahl, 60 Minutes
"One of the essential books to understanding the path to radicalism..." - Tina Brown, editor-in-chief of Newsweek and The Daily Beast
"This book is more powerful than America's drone attacks because it helps kill the ideas that inspire terrorists… --Ed Husain, author of The Islamist
"This book is the account of a redemptive journey through innocence, bigotry, hardline radicalism and beyond to a passionate advocacy of human rights and all that this can mean...' --Kate Allen, Director, Amnesty International UK
About the Author
Maajid Nawaz is the co-founder of Quilliam. He holds a BA in Arabic and Law and an MSC in Political Theory. Maajid has addressed the U.S. Senate, been interviewed by 60 Minutes and the New York Times, and has written for The London Times, The Wall Street Journal, and others