The Islamist

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This article is part of the Counter-Terrorism Portal project of Spinwatch.

The Islamist is a book written by the Co-Director of the Quilliam Foundation, Ed Husain. The book is an account of the author's experience of joining and leaving Hizb ut-Tahrir, though the media spokesman of Hizb ut-Tahrir has denied that Ed Husain was ever a member.[1]

The Islamist was published in 2007 by Penguin Publishers.

Ghostwritten by Whitehall?

In a December 2013 article in Le Monde Diplomatique, journalist Nafeez Ahmed reported:

According to a former senior research officer at the Home Office and ministry of justice, Ed Husain’s bestselling book, The Islamist, was “effectively ghostwritten in Whitehall.” Husain’s book recounts his recruitment into and transition from Hizb ut-Tahrir, a group which calls for the establishment of a global Islamic caliphate.
The former Home Office official said that he was told in 2006 by a colleague “with close ties to two senior figures in the Labour Party, namely Jack Straw and Gordon Brown” that “the draft was written by Ed but then ‘peppered’ by government input — not explicitly, but implicitly.” The civil servant told him “he had seen ‘at least five drafts of the book, and the last one was dramatically different from the first.’ I asked, ‘How do you mean?’ He responded ‘It got peppered with names and aspects of their profiles as people seen as either a friend of or a thorn in the side of New Labour.’” The official explained that his colleague “was someone who had a reasonable sense of what was happening, but was way down the food chain, and merely enacting the will of senior policy makers driving the agenda. These were likely to be in No. 10, Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre, the intelligence services, Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the Home Office.”[2]



  1. CNN Newsroom Transcript Aired 4 May 2007, transcript accessed 23/02/10
  2. Nafeez Ahmed, UK’s flawed counter-terrorism strategy, Le Monde Diplomatique, 9 December 2013, accessed 10 December 2013.