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Radical: My Journey from Islamist Extremism to a Democratic Awakening

Radical: My Journey from Islamist Extremism to a Democratic Awakening [Kindle Edition]

Maajid Nawaz
2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)

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Product Description


"This is a book for our times. It should be read by anyone who wants to understand how the extremism that stalks our world is created and how it can be overcome. It could only be written by someone who has lived this story. And Maajid has" (Tony Blair)

"This book is more powerful than America's drone attacks because it helps kill the ideas that inspire terrorists. Ultimately, it is by defeating the extremists' worldview that we will make our world safer. Maajid's compelling story from hatred to hope shows us how this can be done" (Ed Husain, author of The Islamist)

"Maajid Nawaz was thirty years my junior when I first encountered him in the Torah Prison. His story saddened but inspired me. His innocence and idealism sharply contrasted with the corruption and despotism of his captors. Through Maajid my faith was renewed that a spring of freedom was bound to happen eventually, and so it did" (Dr Saad El-Dine Ibrahim, Egyptian liberal reform pioneer and former political prisoner)

"This book is the account of a redemptive journey - through innocence, bigotry, hardline radicalism and beyond - to a passionate advocacy of human rights and all that this can mean ... I was moved beyond measure" (Kate Allen, Director, Amnesty International UK)

"Imagine Homeland crossed with Skins, and you will get some idea of what a gripping, revelatory book this is. Unputdownable" (Tom Holland)

Book Description

A hard-hitting memoir of one man's journey into and out of Islamic extremism

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 544 KB
  • Print Length: 402 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0753540770
  • Publisher: Virgin Digital (5 July 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S. r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007NG95SC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #127,807 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Maajid Nawaz is Co-Founder and Chairman of Quilliam - a globally active counter-extremism organisation focusing on matters of Integration, Citizenship & Identity, Religious Freedom, Extremism and Immigration - and Founder of Khudi, a Pakistan based social movement campaigning to entrench democratic culture among the nation's youth.

Human Rights and a respect for individual liberty are matters close to Maajid's heart. His work is informed by years spent in his youth as a leadership member of a global Islamist group, and his gradual transformation towards liberal democratic values. Having served four years as an Amnesty International adopted 'prisoner of conscience' in Egypt, Maajid is now a leading critic of his former Islamist ideological dogma, while remaining a Muslim. He now encourages inclusive citizenship-based participation of Muslims in the West, while seeking to synergize a respect for human rights with the civic liberal imperative to defend those in danger of being stigmatized by extremists of all stripes due to their personal choices. Maajid has become a prominent counter-extremism consultant and a regular writer, debater and public commentator. In this regard, he has been called upon by heads of state, statesmen and international bodies for his professional opinion.

Maajid has spoken from various platforms internationally, ranging from universities across Pakistan to addressing the US Senate in Washington DC. He has been profiled by CBS 60 minutes, Larry King Live, BBC Newsnight, has spoken at the TED conference, and is regularly interviewed by prominent journalists across the world. His work is published by The London Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, India Times, Dawn Pakistan, The Independent, The Telegraph, The Guardian, and The New Statesman among many others.

As a British-Pakistani born in Essex, Maajid speaks English, Arabic and Urdu, and holds a BA (Hons) from SOAS in Arabic and Law and an MSc in Political Theory from the London School of Economics (LSE). He is personally interested in Arabic grammar & morphology, Muslim Medieval jurisprudence, scholastics and poetry, and emerging modern political trends. Maajid is a proud father to his young son.

Maajid Nawaz's autobiographical account of his life story is due out on July 5th 2012. He can be followed and contacted on Twitter: @maajidnawaz

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars It is a work of exaggeration 13 April 2014
By Smurf
Maajiid Nawaz has written this book as an ego-drive. After reading it, it is clear to me that his rationale for writing this book is to fill his ego and display hubris. He speaks about several incidents in the books, notably where god intervenes to save his life and he is asked to lead the prophet of god in prayer and others. This is a clear ego drive.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a real eye opener 9 April 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A real eye opener and a fantastic read on how young people are so easily drawn into radicalism in our society. At times a very thought provoking and harrowing read yet a journey which is an inspiration. Such words of wisdom, tolerance and understanding.
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34 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Radical by Maajid Nawaz 9 Aug 2012
Wow... There are some axes being ground, grapes turning sour and chips balanced delicately on shoulders round here, aren't there? Anyone looking for a balanced, unbiased opinion about this book has to wade through an awful lot of hagiographies by friends and hatchet jobs by enemies before getting to anything subjective.

Yes, the writing in 'Radical' is wobbly in places - the prose can be a little purple, and the editor deserves a slap on the wrist (note: you wouldn't describe a dungeon as "cretinous") - but Nawaz isn't a professional writer, and the flaws, if anything, at least demonstrate the book wasn't overly ghostwritten. What we're hearing is Nawaz's voice, shaped into a gripping story by Tom Bromley. And it really is a gripping story. For all his self-aggrandizing bombast and flourishes of immodesty, Nawaz makes a likeable narrator and his story is an interesting one.

Other reviewers criticise him for placing himself at the centre of major events, but it's fairly clear by the end of the book that he often was if not at the centre then at least pretty bloody close to the centre of several key events in the recent history of UK Islamism. Like any memoir, the reader must bear in mind that this is the author's version of events, that it won't always be a balanced overview of his life and career, that somebody else present at each event might describe it differently; that goes with the territory. What Nawaz has given us isn't a definitive account of Hizb ut-Tahrir UK but one man's account of it. If those of us with no experience of that world wish to know more about it, accounts like this are invaluable; the more the better.
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22 of 32 people found the following review helpful
I knew Maajid as a petulant, arrogant 16 years old back in Southend-on-Sea. Even then he was regarded as the "hot headed" one as opposed to his more level minded elder brother, "Osman". Whilst myself, "Osman", his cousins and many others up and down the country managed to eventually see past HT's somewhat simplistic, dichotomous narrative and move on in a balanced, rational manner he was incapable of doing the same due largely to his own naivety, hubris and myopic attitude. The same myopia - combined with his innate narcissism and fanaticism - which clouded his thinking during his HT days continues to inspire and blind him today.

Whilst I feel in parts of the book he has articulated his genuine, heartfelt emotions and thoughts his reaction to certain key realisations belies his own naivety and intellectual immaturity. Once again I reiterate Maajid's myopic attitude and blind fanaticism remain it is merely the narrative that has been exchanged.

Ultimately my verdict on the book is that is a self serving and self aggrandising account of one man's wholly unrepresentative journey through an Islamic political organisation to poster boy for what the Western establishment would like it's Muslims citizens to be. His desire to remain in the limelight and feel like he is someone important is self evident and I believe he tacitly admits as much towards the end of the book whilst addressing his ex-wife.

For those select few of us who know him from Southend and can discern the fact from the fiction (as well the embellishments and self aggrandisment) I would say the book is actually an entertaining read for the most part albeit occasionally tedious and with an unfortunate ending.
For the remaining 99.99% of potential readers I would say don't waste your money or your time.
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17 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I didn't know what to expect 1 Aug 2012
I have known Maajid since his first interaction with HT in Southend. Whether you agree with his politics or not, for those of us who know him, know that he is passionate, committed and not one to lie. So when I came across this book, I wasn't sure what to expect. However, as one review states, this is about the book, not necessarily about the author.

I could not put the book down...that's a fact. I am not an academic (secular or Islamic) and used to be a radical Islamist myself and hence read the book both from a personal perspective (of knowing Maajid), but also from a political one. Maajid has managed to encapsulate his life so far in a way that is spellbinding, emotional and insightful. I'm not sure my mind would be intact if I had to endure what he has had to.

The essence of the book rings true for me and I am sure for many others who like me have gone through a period of life completely sure and convinced that everything in this World is wrong and can only be fixed in a singular manner as defined by a particular group of people.

The fact that the book manages to take the reader through the clearly defined arguments and rationale as to why a typical 'Essex boy' would willingly embrace the ideas of a radical group and turn against all that he knew to be true, certainly in my view, will help towards identifying the fundamental causes of fracture & conflict in modern British society. Too many people attribute 'radicalisation' of Muslim youth to ghettos and lack of integration, Maajid is able to demonstrate that this is certainly not always true.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Not-so-subtly Homoerotic
For a guy who has cheated on his wife and girlfriends with many women, there are a lot of homoerotic undertones in this novel.

Buy a Penguin Classic instead.
Published 24 days ago by Shaheed Uddin
1.0 out of 5 stars Ego Alert - Please read the below paragraph it is more interesting.
I am writing something. Yes, I plan to make it the most boring thing ever written. I go to the store. A car is parked. Many cars are parked or moving. Some are blue. Some are tan. Read more
Published 24 days ago by McMood
1.0 out of 5 stars Not worth it
Don't bother wasting your time unless you want to fill your mind with lies, hate and filth. Maajid Nawaz has a history of lying throughout his life. Read more
Published 24 days ago by Mehedi Islam
1.0 out of 5 stars Andrex is better
Quite expensive for toilet paper to wipe your bottom with. Would have preferred if the paper was more softer as it may cause injuries when one attempts to use it to clean... Read more
Published 24 days ago by Rafiq
1.0 out of 5 stars what a load of nonsense!
wasted time and money on this book.
Doesn't explain very well to why he got in trouble and skips a lot of the key points. Read more
Published 25 days ago by jaynal
1.0 out of 5 stars I was expecting a lot more
From the understanding i had this book would help with understanding moderate and extremist Islam but my honest opinion of this book is its far beyond reality. Read more
Published 26 days ago by waseem saddiq
1.0 out of 5 stars Load of rubbish
The book was a waste of my time and money, rather disappointed with the amount of mistakes and misleading texts quoted, I would definitely recommend people not to purchase this... Read more
Published 26 days ago by Ibrahim Zain
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't bother
inaccuracies, misconceptions, illogical, and, reading between the lines, sinister undertones. The author's objective seems to be tipped more towards fame and glory than speaking... Read more
Published 26 days ago by 1
1.0 out of 5 stars Absolute rubbish.
A boring piece of drivel by a man who is clearly bias and has deep rooted personal issues. The whole book is a bore from beginning to end, only good for sending you to sleep.
Published 26 days ago by Daniel Ekechi
1.0 out of 5 stars dont waste your money
I really exected better than this. I have many friends in similar situation none has turned out to be like you. I guess when you leave islam you speak againts it. Read more
Published 26 days ago by hado
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