British Ex-Jihadis Form Ranks for Tolerance

April 23, 2008

Author: Mark Rice-Oxley

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

http://www.csmonitor.com/2008/0423/p01s09-woeu.html

They once plotted insurrection in Britain. Young, middle-class, and angry, they were the vanguard of a generation of disaffected Muslims that, at its most extreme, gave rise to the July 7, 2005, transportation bombers.

But now, in one of the most visible assaults on political Islam from within the British Muslim community, a network of ex-radicals launched on Tuesday a movement to fight the same ideology that they once worked to spread.

The Quilliam Foundation – named for a 19th-century British convert to Islam – aims to propagate a tolerant and pluralistic view of Islam among young Muslims who are the most vulnerable to radicalism.

"We are trying to rescue our faith from those who have sadly hijacked it," says Ed Husain, author of "The Islamist," a book about his own radical years, and deputy director of the foundation. "There is a Western Islam in the making and it is not arrogant or extreme."