Former Islamic Radicals Denounce Jihadism
11:41 AM, Dec 12, 2008 • By ULF GARTZKE
Earlier this week in Washington, I had the opportunity to listen to Maajid Nawaz, Co-Founder and Director of the London-based Quilliam Foundation, which describes itself as "the world's first counter-extremism think tank". Both Mr. Nawaz and Co-Founder Ed Husain are former activists of the radical Islamist party Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT) who rejected their ideology of hatred and set up Quilliam Foundation in an effort to promote a pluralistic, open, and non-violent interpretation of Islam. Mr. Nawaz, who spent more than four years in an Egyptian prison, was in Washington for meetings with senior U.S. government officials, including Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff.
The striking thing about Quilliam Foundation--which also advises the UK government on anti-terrorism issues--is that it involves former Islamists who are now openly challenging the very intellectual foundations underpinning al-Qaeda's all-out attempt to establish a global Islamic caliphate:
It is clear that, ultimately, the world's on-going struggle against radical Islamists cannot be won without the active involvement and public support of moderate Muslims. The Quilliam Foundation is off to a very good start, and hopefully Maajid Nawaz and Ed Husain will convince more Muslims to follow their path and go after the intellectual godfathers of the jihadist ideology.