Praise for RADICAL:
“..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, CNN anchor
“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.” ~ Tony Blair, former UK Prime Minister
Lyons Press, an imprint of Globe Pequot Press, is proud to announce the release of RADICAL: My Journey Out of Islamic Extremism, by Maajid Nawaz (October 22, 2013; 978-0-7627-9136-1; $26.95 hardcover). As Mr. Nawaz explains in the introduction:
“I played my part in creating and spreading the kind of virulent prejudice that stokes terrorism. As an antidote of sorts I present Radical, an effort to recount the disenchantment that formed my early years and to retrace the steps I took to spread the very prejudice I claimed I was fighting.
I think it’s important to feel, not merely know, why young Muslims like me – and there will be many more – choose this collision path… but even more important is how I pulled away from extremist thought. I hope reading Radical will help the retreat from this downward spiral of antagonism and enmity.”
Born into a liberal home in Britain’s Southend, Maajid Nawaz grew increasingly alienated by the violent racism he encountered as a young adult; he sought refuge among fellow Muslims and fell in with an Islamist extremist group. He rose quickly through the ranks, becoming a top recruiter by age 18. Though he was in no way linked to al Qaeda, Nawaz was arrested in Egypt in the aftermath of 9/11 on charges of inciting the overthrow of the Mubarak regime. In prison, conversations with reformed Islamist leaders stirred an ideological epiphany: Western oppression is not the route of all Muslim suffering – in fact, that false narrative is a tool of cynical “leaders” who harness the frustration of young Muslims to consolidate their own power.
Declared a “Prisoner of Conscience” by Amnesty International, Nawaz was released from prison in 2006. He then resolved to do whatever he could to undo the damage he’d done and help other young Muslims choose a different path. He met with activists and heads of state, built a network, and – with seed money from the UK government – started Quilliam, a foundation that works to combat extremism and prejudice.
From a knife-fight with Neo Nazis in Britain to a jail cell in Egypt to a barbeque at the Texas ranch of George W. Bush, Nawaz openly and skillfully guides us through his incredible journey, which continues to this day. He has addressed the U.S. Senate, been interviewed by 60 Minutes, The New York Times and Anderson Cooper, and has written for The London Times, The Wall Street Journal, and others. He has been chosen to run for a seat in Parliament in the 2015 election.