I have been reading The Islamist by Ed Hussain. I am only one third through, but already I can say, "Buy it and read it."
Ed Hussain is the son of an Indian Muslim immigrant who settled in London's East End. His parents were devout Muslims of a traditional sort, well integrated into British Society, members of the Labour Party, believing that religion and politics were quite separate. Mohamm(Ed)Hussain was a well brought up young man, devout, but an outcast from his school where the young Bangladeshi immigrants were only interested in Bollywood movies. He got sucked in by the infamous East London Mosque that was under the control Jamat-e-Islami and the Young Muslim Organisation (YMO). Here he was politicized and followed the teachings of Abul Ala Mawdudi, a Pakistani journalist and amateur theologian. Mawadi, who died in 1979 on a speaking tour of America, reinterpreted the Koran, departing from classical scholarship and rebranded Islam as a political ideology. Stupidly, the standard textbook in British secular schools for religious education on Islam was and is Islam: Beliefs and Teachings by Gulam Sawar, a lecturer in business management and follower of Mawdudi. If I know the British government they chose this book because it was a job lot going cheap. Pretty certainly no-one concerned with policy ever read it.
Sarwar was an activist for all the Islamist political organisations that have caused us such trouble, yet here was his book (and still is) the basic introductory text for young Muslims in schools. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.
Tower Hamlets College is a large further education college in Tower Hamlets, London, England, one of the poorest parts of London and dominated by Bangaldeshi immigrants. It was here that Ed Hussain became president of the Islamic Society and began politicizing it. The book Milestones by Sued Qtub became the Bible of the movement. Hardened by racialism in America and Nasser's Socialism in Egypt Qtub's book declared that Islam is the answer for oppressed people everywhere. Tortured in Nasser's jails and hanged there in 1966, Qtub became a martyr for the cause. Now, not only Christians and Jews, but ordinary Muslims had become the enemy. Qomen began to wear the Hijab as a political statement. This was not enough for some who insisted on wearing the jilbab which covered the body and the niqab which covered the face. The boys called these girls the ninja sisters, but they were not figures of fun. they were the portal of entry for Wahhabi preachers from Saudi Arabia. These men, with their red chequered head scarfs, black bushy beards and knee length trousers preached a return to 7th Century Arab lifestyle. It was their proposition that 1200 years of Muslim scholarship had been a by-way and that Muslims should return to the original.
The atrocities of Bosnia provided a springboard for the next development. Neither Wahhabism nor Qtubism provided a remedy for the persecution of Muslims in the Balkans. What was needed was not simply the conversion of moderate Muslims to a politicized agenda, not just Muslim lands for Muslims, but a restoration of the Caliphate, and the organisation to bring it about was Hizb ut-Tahrir. In their view democracy is an invention of the devil. They desire a theocracy, one Muslim nation to rule the whole world under Allah. Not just the former Muslim areas that include Spain, but the whole world, Britain, Western Europe and the USA included. The preacher who espoused these ideals to Hussain was Omak Bakri. You can read all about him here.