Wednesday, 9 September 2009

I, a former Islamic extremist, feel we have given in to the fanatics

Like many young British Muslims, I was 'radicalised' at college. Just as the three British-born men who were found guilty this week of plotting to blow flights out of the sky were recruited at school, I encountered extreme Muslims at the age of 16 and was slowly converted to their ranks.

At my East London college, the Islamic society was run by the extremist group Hizb ut Tahrir, which believes in setting up an Islamic state, destroying Israel, and denounces Western values.

At first, I, too, was convinced by their rhetoric. However one awful violent moment changed me for ever. A young African man was knifed to death by the Muslim contingent at the college, simply for being a non-believer.

After a petty row over the use of the snooker table, the Muslim group issued a call of Jihad against the young man and summoned their Hizb ut Tahrir contacts for 'outside backup'.

An operative arrived and plunged a dagger into the boy's heart. The victim's name was Ayotunde Obunabi and I saw him lying dead. To Hizb ut Tahrir his life was worthless because he was not a Muslim.

At that moment I understood the consequences of the rhetoric of radicalism. Read more

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