Ed Husain: from Islamist radical … to champion of liberal Muslims

Guardian: The house of Islam is on fire and its Muslim arsonists must be expelled. So comes the provocation from Ed Husain, self-proclaimed former Islamist radical, who puts much of the blame for Isis, Syria, Hamas and beyond on Saudi-sponsored Salafism and the export of Wahhabism across the world. “We can’t blame the rest of the global neighbourhood for the fire we’ve lit in our own home,” he says, in an empty Brick Lane cafe on the first morning of Ramadan.

Through writing his new book, an attempt at condensing a global history of Islam, Husain arrives at the logical, albeit frequently observed, conclusion that the spread of this rigid, literalist interpretation of Islam “rejected by the vast majority of Muslims and imposed on them” is the biggest threat to the religion. The solution? To defeat the ideology.

Exactly how the battle of ideas can be won is not so clear, but one proposal from Husain is takfir: to publicly expel terrorists and jihadists from the faith rather than to allow any suggestion that they are martyred.

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