The Islamist

Ed Husain

Penguin,  April 2009

The astonishing true story of one man's journey to Islamic fundamentalism and back

Though raised in a devout but quiet Muslim community in London, at sixteen Ed Husain discovered an intriguing political interpretation of Islam known as Islamism. Lured in by its ambitiously fundamentalist tenets, Islamism quickly became the center of his life. He organized controversial events, mingled with radical figures, and recruited fellow Muslim youths for the Islamist cause. Five years later, after considerable personal turmoil, he rejected those same principles and tried to return to a normal life. But he soon realized that Islamic fundamentalism poses a threat that most people -- Muslim and non-Muslim alike -- simply don't understand, and decided to tell his story.

Based on firsthand experiences and written with pervasive clarity, The Islamist delivers a rare inside glimpse of the devious methods used to recruit new members, and Husain offers profound insight into the appeal extremism has for young Muslims in the Western world.

This is a lesson that cannot be ignored.

paperback | ISBN: 9780143115984 | Publication Date: April 2009

"This captivating and terrifyingly honest book is . . . a wake-up call."
--The Guardian (London)

"Persuasive and stimulating."
--Martin Amis

"The Islamist could not be more timely . . . Husain's is a disturbing picture . . . In a wake-up call to monocultural Britain, it takes you into the mind of young fundamentalists"

"A courageous memoir . . . explosive"
--Evening Standard

"The Islamist should be prescribed like medicine. Whatever your prejudices, it will eat into them like acid"
--Daily Telegraph

"A revealing and alarming account"

"Gripping . . . far more than just an arresting testimony of a mind freeing itself from the shackles of extremism. It is an extraordinarily written memoir of growing up in the Eighties and Nineties, with moving family vignettes and lyrical passages . . . compelling"   
--Mail on Sunday

"The penetrating insight of a former insider . . . A uniquely well- informed guide to the netherworld of British Islamism . . . a riveting personal narrative"
--John Gray, Literary Review

"Unique . . . openly and frankly discusses life inside radical Islamic organizations and crucially reveals important warnings about the future of Islam . . . It is also a call to ordinary Muslims to reclaim their faith"
--Asian Leader

"Explains the appeal of extremism for an intelligent young mind and is an intensely personal protest against political Islam"

"A shocking exposè of life inside London's spreading Islamist groups"
--London Paper

"An impassioned plea for tolerance . . . Anyone interested in how extremist Islam has established its grip on this country should read this insider account from a former radical"

"Provides telling insight" 
--Daily Express