Ed Husain

Ed Husain books and biography

Ed Husain

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Ed Husain (born 25th December 1975 in London) is the pen name of the British writer Mohammed Mahbub Hussain who is the author of The Islamist.


Personal life, education, and career

Husain's father was born in India and his mother originates from Bangladesh. He grew up in the Limehouse area of London and attended Sir William Borough School, Stepney Green School, Tower Hamlets College and Newham College. He later worked for HSBC and the British Council in Saudi Arabia and Syria before enrolling at the School of Oriental and African Studies. He later joined the Labour Party.

Husain claims that in the early 1990s he was associated with Jamaat-e-Islami, East London Mosque, Young Muslims Organisation, Hizb ut-Tahrir and the Islamic Society of Britain. However, to date there has been no independent corroboration of any substantive association with any of these organisations. In an interview broadcast by CNN on May 3 2007, a spokesman for Hizb ut-Tahrir denied Husain's claim that he had been a member of the organisation.

Husain was a former associate of convicted terrorist Dhiren Barot, MCB media secretary Inayat Bunglawala and Omar Bakri Muhammad.

The Daily Mail columnist Melanie Phillips has described Husain as a "brave Muslim".[1] The Guardian comments editor Seamus Milne describes Husain as a "British neocon pinup boy". [2] The journalist Ziauddin Sardar accuses Husain of being a neocon who wants "everyone locked up".[3] The Muslim writer Andrew Booso criticizes Husain for showing "a serious inadequacy of knowledge regarding theology and Sacred Law as expounded by the masters through the ages." [4]


Although his views on matters of Islamic jurisprudence are not comprehensively documented, Husain has liberal views towards homosexuality and Islamic marriage laws. Although labelling himself as a 'traditionalist' Husain rejects orthodox Islamic teaching in arguing that Muslim women should be allowed to marry non-Muslim men. In an interview in the New York Times Husain says, "In traditional circles, Muslim women are not allowed to marry non-Muslim men...But in a pluralistic world in 2007, where non-Muslim men and Muslim women are marrying, you can't say, 'You can’t do that.'" Husain also questions orthodox Islamic teaching in relation to the Caliphate, arguing, "But 'the state' is not a rukn of the deen and without it the deen is not lost. An individual can remain a firm believer, a mutadayyin, without the imam and the jama'ah."

Husain has also explained that he believes Islam is in need of modernisation. In an interview with Time Out, Husain says: "As I left extremism I realised that if you are born here and grow up here, then you belong here. The Islam that was preached 2,000 years ago isn’t going to work here in modern London. Muslims need to alter their lifestyles to a Western lifestyle. To criticise is not Islamaphobic. It’s about opposing certain ideas."[5]

The Islamist

Main article: The Islamist

In The Islamist, Husain describes how he became an Islamic fundamentalist at the age of 16. He explains that, "Five years later, after much emotional turmoil, I rejected fundamentalist teachings and returned to normal life and my family." Husain says that his book explains "the appeal of extremist thought, how fanatics penetrate Muslim communities and the truth behind their agenda of subverting the West and moderate Islam."

Husain's book has received some mixed reviews, among them some strong criticism, in relation to accuracy and Husain's analysis.


  • The Islamist (2007)

See also

  • The Islamist
  • Islamism
  • Extremism
  • East London Mosque


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Denial of the link with Iraq is delusional and dangerous
  3. ^ The Islamist by Ed Husain, The Independent, 1 June 2007
  4. ^ [2]
  5. ^ Time Out London: 'Islamic extremists in the East End'

This article might use material from a Wikipedia article, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.
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