Believing in Britain

Ed Husain, author of The Islamist, grew up in a middle class immigrant family in London. In his memoir, he traces his path from primary school in the multicultural East End to his years in college as a religious extremist. After renouncing extremism, Husain moved to the Middle East, where, to his surprise, he felt stronger ties to the British society than ever before. Horrified by the July 7, 2005, terrorist attacks in London, Husain returned home to warn others about the dangers of religious extremism. In this passage from his memoir, he remembers two key experiences from his childhood and speculates on how those experiences shaped his decisions.

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