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Radical: My Journey from Islamist Extremism to a Democratic Awakening Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Virgin Books
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753540762
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753540763
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.3 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,590,248 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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My eyes have been so greatly opened thanks to this book.
Lauren
It is extremely valuable in illustrating a behind-the-scenes look at Islamic culture and explaining key differences between Islam and Islamism.
Jason L
Nawaz is smart and nails every point; I highly recommend watching his interviews and talks as well as reading this book.
Maryam Mohammad

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Maryam Mohammad on June 16, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is incredible. Nawaz's story provides valuable, eye-opening insight into this worldwide movement and how we can counteract it in a way that is still respectful of people and their religion, which you learn is the only way you will have any real success. Nawaz is smart and nails every point; I highly recommend watching his interviews and talks as well as reading this book. His story should be told on the big screen. Until then I'm telling everyone I know.
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Dalal Ender on July 11, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Despite many high profile professionals, scholars and academics writing about radicalism and extremism from an intellectual perspective which is very useful to explain and unlock this phenomena, Maajid here provides an indispensable history to a certain extent that examines the origins of the extremist's ideology and it's development. Nawaz's book is a mémoire not an academic, but when you read it you will understand how difficult it is to address extremist radical groups and their history without giving an account about the history of the individuals involved themselves in the process of building and developing these groups. I think that is what "Radical", Maajid's book did. I highly recommend it for someone who's not interested in complex sophisticated arguments about extremism but rather wanting a clear fact based account.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Scott Haraburda on November 8, 2013
Format: Paperback
Describing contemporary socio-political developments involving religious freedoms, Radical: My Journey out of Islamist Extremism provides an excellent first-hand view. It’s an autobiography of a British Pakastani, Maajid Nawaz, who used to be a former member and leader within Hizb ut-Tahrir, an Islamist revolutionary group.

This book begins with his teenage years listening to American hip-hop while learning about the radical Islamist movement. Through racial harassment in the UK, this young teenager on the receiving end of this pain struggled to survive. Along the way, he found others suffering the same humiliation. Unfortunately, it was from an extremist religious group, intent upon hurting those who harassed them.

A well-written personal narrative, this book was the author’s search of an identity. Throughout his life, he made unwise decisions, leading to a fate determined by the ones he took. While imprisoned in Egypt for a few years, Mr. Nawaz began to question his allegiance to Hizb ut-Tahrir. Shortly upon his release, he resigned from this organization. Today, he’s the Executive Director of Quilliam, a counter-extremism think tank, and is co-founder of Khudi, a counter-extremism social movement working in Pakistan. He’s also the current Liberal Democratic candidate for the north London seat in Parliament.

In the author’s words (although not in this book), the main theme involves democracy. It’s “not just about holding elections. Hitler was elected after all. Rather, without a human rights culture, freedom of speech, freedom of movement, of association and belief, there can be no free and fair elections.” Neither an Islamist revolutionary group or an anti-Muslim group supports democracy, which is important to the future of any country.

A very good book to read. Radical provides optimism that alternatives to Islamism (and other hateful religious groups) may flourish.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Katherine J. Brett on November 13, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Extremely informative and educational. Understanding the difference between Islamism and Islam is crucial when dealing with terrorists vs the ordinary Muslim. I also found the book to be an "eye opener" in how racism was the catalyst for his conversion to an extremist.
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20 of 26 people found the following review helpful By R. Martenis on October 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Radical tells the life history of Maajid who grew up in Southern England as a minority, taunted and threatened because he was Pakistani. His anger turns him into a radical and he travels to Middle East to recruit and set up radical cells for terrorist group Hizb al-Tahrir (HT). He is arrested in Egypt and spends 4 years in a despicable Egyptian jail. While in jail he does a lot of thinking and figuring out that Islamism and Islam are two completely different things. He maintains that Islam is the religion, Islamism is a political ideal. I have heard other opinions that Islam is not just a religion (according to Koran), but is a complete lifestyle including politics. He sets up an organization called Quilliam to challenge both anti-Islam and Islamist extremists worldwide.

His early teenage years are interesting to show what kind of mischief unsupervised teens with money, free time, graphic music in a metropolitan area, especially with rampant racism, can get into. His conversion to radical came because he saw Islamism as a way to obtain power over his enemies and to remove Western influence from Arabian countries.

The author's genius is very evident in that he sees clearly that Islamism should not be a political force, that democracy is the best path for everybody. He may have the exact correct answer to fighting the radicals in the Middle East and Islamists everywhere. Time will tell if Quilliam can turn radicals around. However, the main problem with Islam is that the Koran was written in the 7th-8th century, insisted by all to be the word of God and therefore has not changed since. As Ibn Warraq states in his writings "Why I Am Not A Muslim", Islamic Law consists of the Koran and sunna which control every facet of everybody's lives.
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