The Islamist: Why I Became an Islamic Fundamentalist, What I Saw Inside, and Why I Left

Paperback (Print)
Buy Used
Buy Used from
(Save 41%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $4.00
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 75%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (15) from $4.00   
  • New (9) from $6.62   
  • Used (6) from $4.00   


The true story of one man's journey to Islamic fundamentalism and back

Raised in a devout but quiet Muslim community in London, at sixteen Ed Husain was presented with an intriguing political interpretation of Islam known as fundamentalism. Lured by these ideas, he committed his life to them. Five years later, he rejected extremism and tried to return to a normal life. But soon he realized that Islamic fundamentalists pose a threat that most people-Muslim and non- Muslim alike-simply don't understand.

Based on first-hand experiences and written with pervasive clarity, The Islamist delivers a rare inside glimpse of the devious methods used to recruit new members, and offers profound insight into the appeal fundamentalism has for young Muslims in the Western world.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
" This captivating and terrifyingly honest book is . . . a wake-up call."
-The Guardian (UK)

"Persuasive and stimulating."
-Martin Amis

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780143115984
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/28/2009
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 314,524
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Meet the Author

Ed Husain was an Islamic fundamentalist for five years. He has since traveled widely in the Middle East and worked for the British Council in Syria and Saudi Arabia. He is a cofounder of the Quillium Foundation, Britain's first Muslim counter-extremism think tank.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 – 8 of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 3, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Murdering for God

    We've all seen their pictures. Mostly blank and white. Usually they're taken from surveillance cameras or driver's licenses. They seem ordinary enough. Young to early middle age men. A few are smiling, but most are expressionless. How many of us have sat and stared at those photos and wondered what goes through the mind of mass murderer? What were they thinking when they set the timer of payload of death and then pulled the pin while screaming "Allah Akbar"? Did they look into the eyes of the unsuspecting victims? Did they see mothers with their children off to the grocery or school? Did they see ordinary people going about their lives in peace? Did they give any consideration to their families waiting for them at home before murdering them?

    How do they justify the carnage they about to bring on innocent lives? Did God promise them some sort of "get-out-of-Hell-free" card in exchange for murdering a pregnant woman or maiming some school child? How does one turn a religion which historically has been one of the most peaceful and tolerate of religions into a one based on hatred and death? These are but a few of the questions I've often pondered, be about the SS Death Squads, Pol Pot, Charles Manson, or more recently, the terror attacks by Muslim extremists. Author Ed Husain was in a unique position to answer some of those questions, and more. He grew up in London's East Side; the product of a strong, loving, Westernized Muslim family (surprisingly, not uncommon characteristics of many other mass murders).

    Through short, sometimes quite innocent steps, he slowly found himself drawn into a web of radicalism which promoted a self-anointed "holier-than-thou" sense of religious superiority, even (and perhaps especially) fellow Muslims, including his family and friends. From there, the steps down the hole of free and rational thought to hatred and murder become shorter and ever more slippery with the blood of the innocent. Husain, however, was fortunate. He found his way back from the insanity of the radicalism before it was too late.

    As we are forced to come to grips with the new reality of a post 9/11 world, stories like the one told by Mr. Husain in his book, "The Islamist" should become required reading of anyone trying to come to terms with the mindset of those who seek to murder in the name of God. The book is both well written, and at the same time, chilling in portrayal of an ordinary young man drawn little by little into this dark world.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2014

    Highly recomend

    Very interesting on how a radical was transformed . A good insight as to how he became radicalized and the process of transforming

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2014

    Fantastic Read

    It just goes to show that not all people are enthusiasts of the extremist movements that exist.
    The characters are wonderful, and I have to give it up the Mrs. Husain, who stood by her boyfriend's, then husband's, side when he was going through these changes in his life.

    It is absolutely wonderful that Mr. Husain spoke out like this, and I hope more individuals can, because we all need to be educated on what actually happens when people are recruited for extremist groups.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 8 of 6 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)