Ed Husain, Autor des Bestsellsers 'The Islamist', Deputy Director der Quilliam Foundation
Maajid Nawaz, Direktor der Quilliam Foundation
Organised by Webster University Vienna in cooperation with Women without Borders
Webster University Vienna, Berchtoldgasse 1, 1220 Vienna
Ed Husain, former activist, strategist and recruiter for numerous fundamentalist organizations in Britain and author of the book ‘The Islamist’ in discussion with Maajid Nawaz, director of the Quilliam Foundation, a British Pakistani scholar who has been an effective Islamist activist since the age of 16 and the terrorism expert Samuel Schubert from Webster University. Moderator: Mason Chamie.
Ed Husain, born and raised in London, was involved in an array of Islamist groups in Britain, including Jamat-e-Islami, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Hizb ut-Tahrir. Husain was a highly effective strategist and campus recruiter who laid the ideological seeds for much of contemporary Islamism's manifestations in Britain. His eventual rejection of this ideology, documented in his book The Islamist, led him to a path of discovering pluralistic, normative Islam. Husain’s book has shifted the nature of the debate around Islamism to the extent that his contribution to this field has been acknowledged by the Prime Minister Gordon Brown and he has become a regular commentator on media discussions and civil society events about Muslims, multi-culturalism, Islamism, identity, liberty, extremism, and terrorism. He frequently appears on global and national television and has written for national newspapers such as The Times, The Guardian and The Telegraph. His personal involvement and eventual disenchantment with Islamic extremism gives a closer insight into the plight of Muslims living in Europe, and the temptations of Islamic fundamentalism throughout the world. Husain lives in London and is working on his Ph.D at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Ed Husain is deputy director of the recently founded Quilliam Foundation.
Maajid Nawaz, a British Pakistani scholar, was recruited to Hizb ut-Tahrir (The Liberation Party) at the early age of 16. He became an international speaker and recruiter for the Party. He was arrested in Egypt in 2002 where he was detained, subjected to witnessing of torture, and then convicted to five years imprisonment for belonging to Hizb ut-Tahrir. As a result of time spent in the Middle East and sustained discussions with a wide range of personalities, Nawaz has gained rare political insight into the complexities of Middle-East politics, religion, and the contemporary Muslim political mindset. After Amnesty International's adoption as a prisoner of conscience and a global campaign for his release, Nawaz returned to the UK in March 2006 to join Hizb ut-Tahrir's national leadership committee. However, in May 2007 Nawaz unilaterally resigned his membership from the Party and in September 2007 he recanted Islamism on BBC's flagship current affairs programme, Newsnight. Nawaz regularly presents seminars and lectures on Islamism and Muslim political thought both in the UK and abroad. Upon leaving Hizb ut-Tahrir, he authored a booklet, Towards Political Engagement, detailing his ideological objections to Hizb ut-Tahrir in particular and Islamism in general. He is director and co-founder of the Quilliam Foundation, a counter-extremism think tank formed by mainstream Muslim scholars who strive for the revival of progressive Western Islam and the re-establishment of peace and harmony in West-Islam relations.
SAMUEL SCHUBERT is a political analyst and researcher of international security concerns who has been examining key issues of political violence, terrorism, energy security, and the Middle East for the last twenty years. His pioneering work on asymmetric conflicts and their implications for international security have earned him fellowships in the United States and Europe and, most recently, won him an invitation to deliver the opening lecture to the prestigious George C. Marshal European Center for Security Studies Program on Terrorism and Security Studies. His most recent publications include a profile of terrorist leadership cadres presented in Chicago in 2007 at the Biennial International Conference of the Inter University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society and the third edition of the Asymmetric Power of Terrorism, a theory of political violence and its impact on open societies. He has authored works on the role of non-state actors in the protection of cultural heritage in times of conflict, ballistic missile defense, Islam in Europe, and religion and political violence, a topic of which he will lecturer this summer at the University of Vienna's 2008 International Christian-Islamic Summer University.
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