Phi Beta Cons

Campus as Backdrop for Stint as Islamist

Ed Husain’s memoir, The Islamist: Why I Joined Radical Islam in Britain, What I Saw Inside and Why I Left, is causing a stir in the UK.
His interest in extremism began with reading the works of Taqiuddin an-Nabhani, a Palestinian official who, discontented with the Muslim Brotherhood in the early 1950s, created his own Islamic party, called Hizb ut-Tahrir, or Party of Liberation, which calls for a caliphate in Muslim countries and the end of Israel.
Husain found a ready outlet for his activism on a UK campus, where he joined a university campus branch of Hizb ut-Tahrir. In an interview with The New York Times, he says that joining the organization made him feel important – “a few cuts above an ordinary Muslim.”
Pamphleteering in the campus library and elsewhere rapidly supplanted what had seemed to be a purposeless life as a Muslim attempting to fit into British society.
He parted company with the radicals, horrifed after a fellow Hizb ut-Tahrir member stabbed and murdered a Christian student.
Husain now excoriates both Hizb ut-Tahrir and the British left for soft-pedaling Islamism. “The left shouldn’t be getting into bed with the Islamists,” he says. “We’ve got a political correctness gone mad in Britain that says, ‘How dare we white British tell them what to do?’ ”
One doubts Husain’s message is getting a fair hearing on the UK’s p.c. campuses.