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Islamist Extremism in British Prisons – by Maajid Nawaz

03/12/2009

A British citizen of Pakistani descent Maajid Nawaz became involved as a young Muslim with the radical Islamic Liberation Party (Hizb al-Tahrir al-Islami), undertaking missions for the party in Pakistan and Egypt for almost 14 years.

In April 2002 Nawaz was detained by the Egyptian authorities along with three other British members of the party. During serving his 4 year prison sentence, Maajid renounced the Islamist Ideology for traditional Islam and inclusive politics and now engages in counter-Islamist thought-generating, writing, debating and media appearances.

Drawing from his experience, Maajid Nawaz presented a new report from the Quilliam Foundation (Unlocking Al-Qaeda: Islamist extremism in British prisons) which warns that failure to tackle prison radicalisation could create a fresh wave of hardened and violent extremists, both inside and outside prisons. He explained how

The report reveals that most extremists initially radicalised in prison take an average of 5-7 years to become fully violent, meaning that prisoners leaving prison today may ‘graduate’ into terrorism around 2015.