At 16, having felt socially isolated at school because he wanted no part of gang or popular culture, the author began his adolescent revolt. He fell in with Islamists at the East London Mosque, who were much frowned upon not only by his father, but also by the congregation of the Brick Lane Mosque (once a Huguenot church, then a synagogue, and now a mosque, reflecting the successive waves of immigration into the East End over the last three centuries), which the author had previously attended.Source
The East London Mosque was the scene of struggles, sometimes violent, between various Islamist factions, whose adherents were all young men. They disagreed over such matters as whether it was permissible to take part in the British political system, and whether the best tactics were mass preaching or the establishment of an Islamist conspiratorial vanguard. The parallels with the history of communism are striking. Like Marxists, Islamists also believe that a state of affairs can come about—if only one follows the correct prescription—in which all human problems as we have known them will disappear.
As is often the way with young men who join cults, absorption into the world of the Islamists answered some of the author’s personal problems—his need for friends, for example, and for a sense of transcendent purpose. Alienation from his parents only confirmed his view that he was taking a courageous path.
The author attended a college in the East End, and became the leader of its Islamist students. With immense energy, he organized activities and meetings, arguing against opponents with the single-minded ferocity known only to those in thrall to an ideology. He and his associates managed—without much difficulty—to intimidate and bully the college authorities into providing a prayer room for Muslims, though the college was avowedly secular. The authorities were, however, powerless to resist because they were uncritical adherents of multicultural pieties. (By contrast, the dean of the medical school where I used to teach told me that Islamists had approached him, demanding a prayer room, to which he acceded on the condition Christians and Jews could use the room on the same terms—whereupon the demand was withdrawn and never heard again.)
After a few years, the author grew disenchanted with Islamism. This, too, is not uncommon among cult adherents as they mature. The incident that spurred his break was the murder of one Islamist by another. But he was already tired of the endless squabbling of the Islamists and their habit of regarding all people of different opinions as inferior beings, to whom one owed no decency.
He resumed his education, graduated from school, and soon found an excellent job in a bank, with prospects for rapid advancement (so much for the notion that the cause of Islamism in Britain is a lack of economic opportunity). However, he was not cut out for life in the bank, and decided to study history at university, at the same time returning to his father’s more contemplative form of Islam. This impelled him to learn Arabic, which he studied in Damascus for two years with apolitical Sufi scholars. His mastery of Arabic helped him find employment in the British Council in Saudi Arabia. His experiences in that country—the gross and grotesque disparities of wealth, the cruel maltreatment of racial minorities, the lack of freedom, the oppression of women, the ignorance and superstition—finally convinced him that a secular democracy such as Britain’s was not without many virtues.
I suspect that this particular Islamist was simply too intelligent and open-minded to completely lose himself in the rising hatred and bloody-mindedness of the global jihad movement. He is a lucky one.
Islam is experiencing a demographic bulge of young men, which is feeding the islamist jihad. This demographic phenomenon and its accompanying movements of violence, is predictable to any student of populations and history.
Eventually, the bulge will pass, and the threat of violence from Islam will diminish. How long will it take? Between 50 and 100 years, optimistically.
During that time, the developed world will not only have to deal with the Islamists in its midst--causing Beirut like scenarios in Brussels, Paris, London, Oslo, Amsterdam, and other European cities. The fact that the demographic expansion is occurring in the welfare states of Europe--and being financed by welfare payments--will lead to a diminishing of the human capital of Europe. The reason for that is that populations with average IQ of 85 or less will be displacing populations with an average IQ of 100 or greater. As most students of IQ realize, a population with an average IQ below 90 almost never supports a sustainable high tech society.