June 19, 2009

Book Review: The Islamist

The Islamist

By: Ed Husain
Published by: Penguin Group 2009

“Majid and I recalled how several of our fellow activists became suicide bombers, were imprisoned, or created entire organisations that linked themselves to al-Qaeda. What started as mere talk, as rhetoric, found expression in mass murder in several European capitals, including London and Madrid. The murder we had witnessed on our college campus a decade before the attacks on London’s subway on 7 July, 2005 was an unspeakable testament to the power of words. The talk of jihad, hatred and anger never remains abstract, limited to ‘freedom of speech.’ It yields results.” The Islamist: Ed Husain, pp 289.
There is the lesson that Ed Husain wants to bring forth in his description of his descent into extremism and his eventual recovery from that addiction. Throughout Husain’s book he warns us the dangers of the Islamist yet he also provides us with a glimpse into the mindset of some of America’s “friends” in the current war on terror. He warns that the Saudis are not really a family we should be working with, for it is their kind of Islam that is the basis for almost all of the extremism in the world today. The Wahabbis he writes are the driving force in promoting the extreme form of Islam that cultivated Bin Laden, and al-Qaeda. Al-Qaeda itself he notes is the marriage of Wahhabism and Islamism whose offspring is terror. And that terror’s only goal is the expansion of Islamist Islam. Not a religion but a way of life, a social and political goal where all things are ruled by their version of Islam.

Born in England of Pakistani immigrants Husain grew up in the proto-typical English setting, from trips to the green, serene English countryside to trips to the Upnor coast where cheerful fishermen willingly invited them aboard their boats. He and his classmates grew up in a colorblind setting oblivious to the fact that large numbers of them were different – they were “Asian.” They were children of the English soil, and rejoiced in all things British but there was a force lurking in the background waiting to seize the hearts and minds of Britain’s Muslim children. That force found Husain upon entering secondary school where gang fights between Asians and the others caused him to become a loner, and made him ripe for indoctrination and inclusion.

Husain warns that the key to stopping Islamic Extremism and the creation of Islamist is integration. We must as a culture integrate the Muslims instead of allowing and even encouraging them to live in separate enclaves with in our cities. It is this segregation that in part was responsible for the Danish cartoon flap. Where instead of approaching their own government, Danish Muslim leaders sought the help of Hamas, Hizbullah, and Saudi Arabia, we all know where that help led those Muslim leaders and the result wasn’t pretty. As long as we allow young Muslim immigrants to linger in the ghettos of European cities economically inactive and socially excluded, and hanging onto the teachings of radicalism, rejection anynotion of national identity they will continue to inch towards jihadism and its violent outcome.

My take away:
This book is a must read for anyone curious about the mind of an Islamist or Muslim Extremist. It should be required reading for every member of Congress and apologist for terrorism.

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