The Islamist is a memoir by Ed Husain about his five years as an Islamist. Raised in a devout Muslim community in London, Husain was presented with an intriguing political interpretation of Islam known as fundamentalism at the age of sixteen.
Lured by these ideas, he committed his life to them and joined the Islamist group Young Muslim Organization before moving on to be active in Hizb ut-Tahrir while in college.
After disheartening experiences with factional infighting and sectarian violence at his college, and unIslamic behavior while living in Saudi Arabia as an English teacher, Husain rejects political Islam and returns to “normal” life and his family.
The book explains the appeal of extremist thought, how fanatics penetrate Muslim communities, and the truth behind their agenda of subverting the West and moderate Islam. The book also carries a powerful message that Islamic devotion can be reconciled with vigorous, responsible citizenship in Western democracies.
What I Liked
I loved everything about this book. It’s about an Islamist, but it’s really about anyone who falls into an extreme ideology. The lessons are very real and honest.
What I Did Not Like
Not a whole lot – I’m super thankful that the author wrote this memoir.