Monday, September 03, 2007

Book Notes: The Islamist by Ed Husain

This is a worrying book. It claims to be the first expose of radical Islam in Britain, by an insider who subsequently became disillusioned with the movement and left it.

The book charts Husain's 'radicalisation', the various movements though which he moved and the way in which a huge number of his contemporaries followed a similar path. It makes a number of claims which would worry anyone committed to democracy and freedom of speech - as it charts not merely the extreme paths of terrorism taken by the fringes of the movement, but the intolerance, racism, anti-semitism, bullying and intimidation which he claims are considered as justifiable by large numbers of young British Muslims.

argues not merely that further terrorist outrages are inevitable, but that Britain's refusal to confront dangerous groups amounts to negligence and naivety. He's not exactly Melanie Philips - but he does argue that democracy does need to stand up to religious fascism much more vigorously.

His concern in writing is to distance 'Islam' from 'Islamism' - that is to promote the religion of Islam, but to disavow the Islamist political movement, which sees as being a fundamentalism at odds with true faith, and refusing to adequately contextualise sacred texts in their interpretation. The book ends up as passionate call to Sufism and a bitter attack on the Wahhbism which he blames for the current ills.

is also critical of the British Press. In a point he reiterated on Radio4 this week, he suggests that 'ordinary street Muslims of Leeds or Bradford' (sic) are denied a voice; and that the Media constantly look for Muslim opinion from bodies such as the M.C.B. - which he unequivocally accuses of being a front for Islamist extremism.

also turns his fire on the British left-wing, for its love-affair with Islamism. He argues that Islamism rides the PC wave of minority rights, with full intention of abolishing human rights in favour of Sharia law.
The combination of these things Husain argues means that terrorism in the UK, is not a probablity but a certainty.

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