12 of 25 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Radical: My Journey from Islamist Extremism to a Democratic Awakening (Paperback)Very disappointed. I'm sure it will find its audience, but those people aren't interested in facts, just anything that fits their world view and makes them feel better about having to live next door to muslims.
The book just isn't believable, Maajid is a dreadful writer, his style is stilted and contrived and he attempts, badly i might add, to emulate other authors. Also there really needs to be stronger vetting of new authors and fact checking of their books. The book is riddled with inconsistencies and contradicts events mentioned in Ed Hussain's book "The Islamist"
Also I'm disgusted to learn that a former terrorist was able to earn pots of cash at the expense of the British taxpayer because he claims to have had a pivot moment in Jail. The same man who contributed to a highly charged climate in a London college ultimately leading to the killing of an innocent African student and in his spare time attempted to overthrow sovereign states. What is the world coming to, time was when people like this would be tried for treason.
And now this same opportunistic little thug is now attempting to mug the British consumers with this tacky little book. I implore you do not give this odious little man any more money.
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Initial post: 24 Jul 2012 08:52:54 BDT
This obviously is an important issue for you. As I have mentioned in other posts I think it is great to have all opinions expressed - the more the better. The thing I would like to challenge you on though is your use of the word "terrorist". The word to me implies actual violence. "Contributing to a highly charged climate" and "Creating an atmosphere" may be morally reprehensible (I would agree with you on this point) but using the word terrorist probably diminishes your overall message to many neutrals. Do you know something that Amnesty do not know. If that is the case, is it not your moral duty to inform the Police? People on all sides should be careful not to "contribute to a highly charged climate". My salaams and ramadan greetings to you.
In reply to an earlier post on 24 Jul 2012 20:18:43 BDT
Devi Patel says:
LOL @ Maajid's Aunt and Uncle coming out to bat for him. This tale really does go from the sublime to the ridiculous. You couldn't make it up, imagine a man hoping to be taken seriously as a politician and all of a sudden his mum appears with her rolling pin to confront all the naughty people criticising her son. Brilliant. Didn't quite spit my chai over the keyboard like auntie did, but funny nonetheless. Oh by the way in case of future keyboard mishaps I recommend immersing it in a box of rice ( uncooked )
Judging by earlier reviews and your responses you seem to be hung up on the word terrorist. Maajid was imprisoned in Egypt for a reason. Hizb al Tarir may not be proscribed in the UK, but in Egypt they are viewed as terrorists so he was tried as a terrorist. He was fairly tried by a sovereign nation looking to protect its interests, he was plotting who knows what, so i'm going to go with Egypt's definition for now. To the british public he was a terrorist, Craig Murray describes him as a terrorist, so it works for me. In the mean time go an pick a few more nits and split a few more hairs.
As a proud hindu, i have always identified with my host nation. They are my hosts and as such i love and respect them. I believe the same goes for law abiding muslims too. Their example is to be found when the sahaba were shielded by the king of Abysinna. Maajid on the other hand has never been a law abiding muslim and was and i believe still is, an enemy within. As i understand it he was a violent thug as a boy growing up, who met violence with violence and he moulded the peaceful religion of islam for his own ends. He got into religion for reasons of anger, and supposedly devoted his life to a cause based on a dislike of racists. A foolish man child if ever there was one, perhaps one might understand it if it was a fad but he claims to have based his life's work as a terrorist on these early encounters with racists. That is no basis for faith and makes a mockery of those devout and true religious men and saints who devote their lives to the service of mankind. Proof of his lack of conviction is that when offered large sums of money he flip flopped.
All i see in Maajid is a highly duplicitous and deeply untrustworthy man. Someone like him should be applauded perhaps for disavowing terror and al-qaidas narrative but at the same time there needs to be extreme operational caution around him. He should be heavily monitored and I totally disagree with him having access to government funding. The money wasted on this non entity with zero grass roots support could have paid the salary for a number of nurses or contributed to some sort of ghetto rejuvenation project. No religious man of integrity would take money for performing a religious duty. Religion is not for sale.
The idea that he criticises the government so is therefore independent is so utterly puerile as to be laughable. They deliberately offer a small amount of criticism so as not to be seen as happy little robots. Whatever, He reveals his true character by showing his willingness to get into bed with Ghadaffi, this enemy of all mankind.
Mark my words our friend Mr Nawaz is a trickster in true form, unhinged and in my opinion in need of clinical diagnosis - Watch him carefully!!
In reply to an earlier post on 25 Jul 2012 08:41:20 BDT
"Judging by earlier reviews and your responses you seem to be hung up on the word terrorist".
Yes I am, as we all should be - what I am hung up about is the legitimate human right of of non-violent action and free speech versus the use of violence to achieve ones objectives. Blurring that difference is something that governments throughout the world do and create prisons with thousands of political prisoners - it is my firm belief that governments around the world are responsible for more acts of inhumanity than all the terrorist organisations put together (which by the way neither justifies, nor condones the violent actions of terrorists). My affiliation with personal dignity and human rights comes from my own belief system which has developed over the last 35 years - having been a member of Amnesty for 30 years and been a practising doctor for 25 years in which I have a special interest in professional and ethical values - it has nothing to do with being Maajid Nawaz's uncle. If I ever were to meet you , you should be in no doubt that I would treat you with the same degree of dignity and respect as I would treat a member of my own family.
One inaccuracy in your post "he was tried as a terrorist" - no, he was not, he was tried for non-violent offences and found guilty. And he was not tried fairly as you state - the torture, the lack of access to the foreign office and the initial months of waiting before any charges were raised does not in my mind constitute a fair trial.
Peace be with you.
In reply to an earlier post on 25 Jul 2012 10:46:11 BDT
Last edited by the author on 25 Jul 2012 11:09:12 BDT
Dev Patel, you don't know what you are talking about. Maajid was never a terrorist, and his previous organisation has never been declared as such by the UN, the US, Egyptian, or British governments. The only nations in the world, as far as I am aware, that declare Hizb al-Tahrir terrorists are Russia, Uzbekistan, and Syria. It seems even Shaba in her initial comments under Cute Kanga's reveiw was duped into taking this blurred view after reading Maajid's book.
However, NMN, respectfully, you said
"Blurring that difference is something that governments throughout the world do and create prisons with thousands of political prisoners"
And I agree. So would comments like the following also qualify as blurring the difference from Maajid and the 2 organisations he heads (Quilliam and Khudi in Pakistan) :
I quote the Guardian "A secret list prepared [by Maajid] for a top British security official accuses peaceful Muslim groups, politicians, a television channel and a Scotland Yard unit of sharing the ideology of terrorists... [Leaked on Scribd.com] The document adds that if local or central government engages with such groups "it risks empowering proponents of the ideology, if not the methodology, that is behind terrorism"
Maajid said Islam Channel was "run by Mohammed Ali Harrath, a convicted Tunisian terrorist who is the subject of an Interpol 'Red Notice'." ."
It obviously doesn't matter that the Tunisian dictatorship at the time of this Quilliam alert was a brutal autocratic ruler who labeled anyone who criticized him as a terrorist. Not only was Maajid circulating a fear mongering alert simply sinister and illiberal, Harrath (the so called terrorist) was also later found innocent.
From his Khudi website:
"These two events rehumanized him, and made him change his mind about Islamism, causing him to refute the violence and ideology of Islamism"
He says "some who follow an Islamist agenda do use their political/religious beliefs in order to justify acts of violence, including violence that deliberately targets civilians. ... Such an interpretation can play into the hands of those who argue that Islam is in need of self-defence, even if it includes attacking civilians, including Muslims. Non-violent Islamists can champion this narrative, providing the mood music to which suicide bombers dance."
"...he [Maajid] and many of his generation felt disconnected from both Pakistan and the UK. They clung on to their Muslim identity, and because the Islamist ideology preaches that Islam is always in danger of being annihilated by its enemies, they became radicalized and decided to *fight*"
These are all quotes published on his own khudi website http://www.khudipakistan.com/blog/?p=216
He also blurrs the line between Islamism and Jihadism throughout the book as previously mentioned in our discussions under 'Cute Kangaroo's' review.
So is it really a surprise that people who familiarise themselves with Maajid's propaganda with no previous knowledge of the subject (or even if they do) have the lines between Islamism and Terrorism utterly blurred. In fact if you had been keeping up with the quilliam website over the last 5 years, it comes across very clearly that the very mission of Maajid's Quilliam seems to be to blur the line between Islamism and terrorism and tarnish Islamists with the terrorist brush.
In reply to an earlier post on 25 Jul 2012 11:12:56 BDT
Once again Doc_Angelie, thank you.
It would concern me if innocent non-violent Islamists are on some secret list being shared between Quilliam and the Government. There is no way I would condone this. We actually agree on more points than we disagree on. I think some of the points made about Quilliam are legitimate concerns - eg funding aspects and concerns regarding some of their supporters - these legitimate issues of discussion become obscured when Devi Patel mixes them with unfounded, ludicrous and factually inaccurate claims regarding terrorism or fair trials in Egypt.
(BTW - i am not here as a spokesperson for Quilliam or any of its members - I hope by my posts you have come to understand I am only representing myself and the interests of Human Rights through Amnesty, but on a personal note it is important to me to read your first line - I appreciate it, thank you again - it was a very worrying time when we did not know when, if ever, Maajid Nawaz was going to return from Egypt).
Posted on 25 Jul 2012 14:03:59 BDT
Ahmed Z. Haque says:
I'm an ordinary moderately devout British Bangladeshi Muslim from the East End who's been following the work of Majid Nawaz for a while. I used to be skeptical believing he was turning on his own commnunity, but since lerning more about him and attending his lectures I have come to applaud his work and bravery. I wear my name and my allegiance openly as a Muslim democrat and a believer in human rights.
It is with heavy disgust then that I see that some political Musilm groups have decided to sabotage this thread and the reviews on this meaningful book. Some are using non-Muslim names some pretending to be objective observers others are pretending to be concerned Muslims while others still use even hindu names (because they believe it is Halal to lie in non Muslim lands where Islam is not in authority as if they are in some sort of war) when actually they all be followers, members or not, and friends of Hizbut Tahrir or other political Islam groups. It is quite obvious from their comments that they deeply value the ideas of political Islam.
How do I know who they are? Well aside from it being so obvious, and having grown up with them, they openly call on here for the return of what they call an islamic state or caliphate (as if the UK is not good enough already) and argue for political Islam. They go on to recommend books by other Hizbut tahrir members on their threads as if they are "objective". Finally and most importantly they are as piously well versed - in the total and final refutation of the author - as one can expect from a deeply sincere godly zealot. These reviews have only made me respect Majid even more because I now see exactly what he has to face every single day and regret being a one time skeptic. Bravo!
It's easy to select and pick holes in anything. I could list a hundred points (yes with references on the internet - who can't these days!) even against Islam itself. But anyone who follows Majid's work knows that he is nuanced and accurately labels and always makes a point of saying that his former group Hizbut are not terrorists so that he doesn't get them mixed up with Al Qaeda. I think he states in his book that he even campaigned to stop his ex group getting banned here. He's also made it clear he always opposed neo-conservativism, the Iraq war, Arab dictators, torture, ethnic profiling, spying, and generally picking on Muslims. The sources cited by these Islamists will not be able to bring any refernce to Majid by name where he called for anything of the sort. I know because being a skeptic I searched it out before speaking.
Most other so called online references that are being stuffed down our throats here are highly selective and bit-piece quotes taken from disenchanted sources. As with Islam, or with anything for that matter, it is very easy to malign and slectively portray something if you are driven enough. Go speak to majid directly, attend his talks and hear from him directly and you will be able to ask him his views. I have done so, and have been surprised by his frankness, candour and nuance.
This tactic of flooding the internet with comments against anyone who has dared to stand up and challenge Islamism has been used by these people for so long now that it is tiring. They do it to give the impression that they are the majority, and they do it to give the impression that they speak on behalf of us Muslims. Well let me say it loud and clear: we Muslims do not need any groups to claim to speak in our name thank you very much. We are happily diverse and mixed. Please go away and let us live!
PS: now watch as I get gunned down. For the record, I will not be responding because these people are close-minded and a waste of time.
In reply to an earlier post on 25 Jul 2012 15:02:22 BDT
Last edited by the author on 25 Jul 2012 15:02:57 BDT
NMN, I appreciate your balanced views, I will be posting the links in my review so that you can see for yourself the validity of what I have said. Just for your reference here is the link for the 'McArthyite List' : .
He has never denied it.
In reply to an earlier post on 25 Jul 2012 17:09:39 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 25 Jul 2012 19:57:10 BDT]
Posted on 25 Jul 2012 22:18:20 BDT
NMN - you seem quite open minded and to this extent I would refer you to Doc Angie's comprehensive post regarding the very underhand, vicious, nasty works that Quilliam has been getting up to behind the cute and cuddly facade.
In reply to an earlier post on 25 Jul 2012 23:11:53 BDT
Devi Patel says:
The trial may not have been fair according to our standards but i say when in rome do as the romans do. And maajid clearly did not!! He knew what he was getting himself into and so therefore he placed himself in harms way. I will also say i believe he was up to something out there. This is a man who was infiltrating the military with a view to attempting a coup in your parents country of origin. What are your thoughts on that?
I know it's hard to believe that the young boy you used to bounce on your knee is a bad apple but its time you faced a few home truths. The measure of an honest man is one who is able to speak the truth even though it goes against himself. Lets see if you can do that in the face of overwhelming evidence against your nephew.