Renouncing Islamism: To the brink and back again

by mgopin on December 12, 2009 · 1 comment

This is one of the more profound investigations of London jihadis and ex-jihadis who are evolving in very modern directions. The relationship of European racism to the jihadi phenomenon, as well as the hard realities created by corrupted jihadi behavior in the Middle East are also analyzed. All in all, it shows a dynamic universe that is dramatically changing, and that demands much more creative and emphathetic responses from non-Muslims.

An excerpt from the Johann Hari article “Renouncing Islamism: To the brink and back again,” first published in at The Independent:

MaajidNawaz

Ever since the 7/7 suicide bombings, carried out by young Englishmen against London, the British have been squinting at this minority of the minority and trying to figure out how we incubated a very English jihadism.

But every attempt I have made up to now to get into their heads – including talking to Islamists for weeks at their most notorious London hub, Finsbury Park mosque, immediately after 9/11 – left me feeling like a journalistic failure. These young men speak to outsiders in a dense and impenetrable code of Koranic quotes and surly jibes at both the foreign policy crimes of our Government and the freedom of women and gays. Any attempt to dig into their psychology – to ask honestly how this swirl of thoughts led them to believe suicide bombing their own city is right – is always met with a resistant sneer, and yet more opaque recitations from the Koran. Their message is simple: we don’t do psychology or sociology. We do Allah, and Allah alone. Why do you have this particular reading of the Koran, when most Muslims don’t? Because we are right, and they are infidel. Full stop. It was an investigatory dead end.

But then, a year ago, I began to hear about a fragile new movement that could just hold the answers we journalists have failed to find up to now. A wave of young British Islamists who trained to fight – who cheered as their friends bombed this country – have recanted. Now they are using everything they learned on the inside, to stop the jihad.

© Marc Gopin

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