52 of 58 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The Islamist: Why I joined radical Islam in Britain, what I saw inside and why I left (Paperback)
This is a fascinating book. I read a broad selection of the criticisms of this book in an attempt to gauge its authenticity. Much of the criticism is about his "Muslim credentials" and his portrayal of specific Islamic groups and it is quite easy to understand why the said groups have a vested interest in attacking these portrayals. Whilst I do not doubt for one moment Ed Hussein portrayal, for me this is irrelevant to the central point of the book.
The book's central aim is to demonstrate how a young person born into a Western liberal democracy with no particular grievances against the people around them, can justify indiscriminately murdering the very people they have grown up with. This book achieves this and reveals how young naive minds can be twisted by an irrational hatred and shows how religion can be used to persuade otherwise good people to commit horrendously evil acts. We are given an insight into the minds of certain Islamic groups, who beliefs and aims are to destroy liberal democracy and to live in a Caliphate. This kind of Islam has been allowed to flourish because of the tenets of freedom of speech and religious tolerance, values that our society holds so dear. Ironically this a freedom that would certainly not be allowed in Islamic societies such as Saudi Arabia, or the society so desired by certain Islamic groups in this country.
As I have mention much of the criticism of this book is from Muslim writers, but there is also a fair bit from the liberal press. The book does quite clearly identify an Islamic threat and in doing so gives plenty ammunition to far right views. Certain liberal writers (and I consider myself a liberal) condemn the book, as they fear it could be used as a recruiting call to the far right, not because they necessarily disagree with the books opinions and statements.
I have only given this book 4 stars, but I can't fault it really I just reserve 5 stars for a truly life changing book.