CNN & Ed Husain author of "THE ISLAMIST"

Launched in the week of the verdicts in Britain's longest terror trial, The Islamist could not be more timely. Operation Crevice revealed an underworld of young Muslim men ready to kill. Ed Husain's memoir exposes some of the mind games that led them there.

His journey from theatre-loving schoolboy to Islamic fundamentalist begins in primary school in the 1980s, where he plays with 'Jane, Lisa, Andrew, Mark, Alia, Zak' and learns about Islam from his family and a spiritual guide he called 'Grandpa'. His father, a devout Muslim opposed to Islamist views, ignores the advice of Husain's teachers not to send his son to Stepney Green, an all-boy, all-Muslim secondary school, a decision he will later regret.

Soon, Husain identifies himself not as British or Asian, only Muslim. He describes his journey towards fanaticism as gradual, first coming across Islamism in the school textbook Islam: Beliefs and Teachings by Ghulam Sarwar, which says: 'Religion and politics are one and the same in Islam.' Enticed by its teachings and encouraged by a close friend, Brother Falik, Husain becomes drawn towards Islamism and the formation of the caliphate, a transnational Islamic state with a central foreign policy of jihad.

Husain names people he says share these ideas, including members of the Muslim Council of Britain and leaders of the East London Mosque, where, for the first time, he feels he belongs. Here, he begins to believe in a divided world in which the only side that matters is the Muslims. Husain's is a disturbing picture. Attempts by his distraught parents to change his mind are a 'test from God'. When his father makes him choose between Islam and the family, Husain runs away.

By the time he attends Tower Hamlets College, he has become leader of the influential Islamic society, bringing hardline homophobic and anti-semitic speakers in to lead debates such as 'Hijab: put up or shut up'. Husain turns to the more militant Hizb ut-Tahrir: successful, articulate professionals reinforce his nascent views. He spends two years involved with a Hizb cell. Friends who disappear to training camps later become key figures in al-Qaeda.

We can feel more book burning coming this way...

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