Synopses & Reviews
Maajid Nawaz spent his teenage years listening to American hip-hop and learning about the radical Islamist movement spreading throughout Europe and Asia in the 1980s and 90s. At 16, he was already a ranking member in Hizb ut-Tahrir, a London-based Islamist group. He quickly rose through the ranks to become a top recruiter, a charismatic spokesman for the cause of uniting Islam’s political power across the world. Nawaz was setting up satellite groups in Pakistan, Denmark, and Egypt when he was rounded up in the aftermath of 9/11 along with many other radical Muslims.
He was sent to an Egyptian prison where he was, fortuitously, jailed along with the assassins of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. The 20 years in prison had changed the assassins’ views on Islam and violence; Maajid went into prison preaching to them about the Islamist cause, but the lessons ended up going the other way. He came out of prison four years later completely changed, convinced that his entire belief system had been wrong, and determined to do something about it.
He met with activists and heads of state, built a network, and started a foundation, Quilliam, funded by the British government, to combat the rising Islamist tide in Europe and elsewhere, using his intimate knowledge of recruitment tactics in order to reverse extremism and persuade Muslims that the ‘narrative’ used to recruit them (that the West is evil and the cause of all of Muslim suffering), is false. Radical, first published in the UK, is a fascinating and important look into one man's journey out of extremism and into something else entirely.
This U.S. edition contains a "Preface for US readers" and a new, updated epilogue.
"Riveting" - Christian Science Monitor
“Maajid Nawaz’s Radical is fascinating, and essential if you want to understand in a visceral way why some young Muslims embrace extremist ideology. Nawaz went from being a hip-hop loving youngster to a radical Islamist before finally renouncing extremism. He now works to prevent others from choosing such a dangerous path and his is a voice I urge you to hear.” - Anderson Cooper
"A British Muslim reveals a harrowing tale of violence, imprisonment and torture...A lively and convincing antidote to hatred." - Kirkus Reviews
“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.” - Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair
"Maajid Nawaz has an extraordinary personal story about his journey out of Islamist extremism which reads like a novel. It's a coming of age story for our post-9/11 world that is pacy, well written and thoughtful." - Peter Bergen, author of Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for bin Laden from 9/11 to Abbottabad
"[Maajid] brings the insight of an insider to Radical – an absorbing story of the making and unmaking of a young, radicalized Muslim. The book is candid, dynamic, important…and brave." - Lesley Stahl, 60 Minutes
"One of the essential books to understanding the path to radicalism...[it] will fill one with hope that others can find their way back as Maajid Nawaz relates so movingly." - Tina Brown, editor-in-chief of Newsweek and The Daily Beast
“Everyone should read it” - Nicola Jeal, Saturday editor, The Times of London
"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
"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, author of In the Shadow of the Sword
“One of the most compelling descriptions of radical and political immersion of recent times” - Mail on Sunday (UK)
At 16, Maajid Nawaz was already a ranking member in Hizb ut-Tahrir, a London-based Islamist group, and he quickly rose through the ranks to become a top recruiter and spokesman for the cause of uniting Islam’s political power across the world. After five years in prison in Egypt, Nawaz awoke to the falseness of the 'narrative' that motivates Muslim extremism and began an international campaign to reverse extremism across the world.
About the Author
Maajid Nawaz is the co-founder of Quilliam. He holds a BA in Arabic and Law and an MSc in Political Theory. Maajid has addressed the U.S. Senate, been interviewed by 60 Minutes and the New York Times, and has written for The London Times, The Wall Street Journal, and others.