4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars
It's OK., 24 Aug. 2010
I read this book at the end of a dissertation I wrote on Wahhabism and Sufism. I was touched by certain sections of this book and I was also pleased to see that a large amount of my work was confirmed by what Ed had written.
On a number of occasions, however, I felt that the author did not give adequate analysis and was more concerned with writing a confession of sorts which in itself may be a good thing, but lead me to believe that the author was simply trying to justify why he did what he did and lay the blame at the door of Islamists. In fact, I was astounded at how this author was so easily lead by his peers and the Islamist groups he encountered in his youth. So much so that when he arrived in Damascus and set up the debating society at the British Council I thought 'Oh no, here we go again...he's back to his old habits of causing friction and sparking debates...'. I lost confidence that this individual ever knew where they were heading in life.
The author is now heavily involved with the Quilliam Foundation and although the work is commendable, I am left with the same feeling of doubt as to whether its founders are checking and appraising their activities or whether they have now fallen foul of a perspective which is completely at variance to everything that they previously stood for; from his book, Ed gives the impression that he is a man of extremes.
The book also does not appear to provide any new answers which extant literature hasn't already given.
Therefore, to sum up the book in the following three words would not be incorrect: 'Good for him'. He has benefitted from his change but that is about all the impact that this book will have on the current situaton faced within Britain.