Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Combatting "The Narrative"

Majjid Nawaz of The Quilliam Foundation

A fascinating life story, and a powerful ally in the war of ideas. We need to recruit these sorts of individuals to do the heavy lifting when it comes to debating radical islamists. As non-Muslims we simply cannot attain the level of credibility that this young man would have with the target audience. Additionally, we should convince the Egyptians to allow us to use these men he mentions for deprogramming efforts (from the 60 minutes piece):

During his trial, Nawaz remained defiant. He would walk in and out of court shouting out radical slogans. After he was convicted and sentenced to prison for five years, he was locked up with the assassins of Anwar Sadat and leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood.

"Boy, if you weren't radicalized up until then, you certainly would've been then," Stahl remarked.

"Well, the interesting thing with these guys is that, in the 20 or so years since they've been imprisoned, they'd gone through a process where they had abandoned their jihadist views," he said.

"They did?" Stahl asked.

"Yeah. And my initial reaction was, 'Oh, my God, you've sold out.' And so, I approached them with an idea to try and actually convince them they were wrong," Nawaz said.

Nawaz believed he could "re re-convert" them. "And what ended up happening was through the discussion process, I began doubting the strength of my own convictions," he explained.

They were able to persuade him that today's radical ideology is closer to fascism than true Islam. So after four years in prison, he returned to England in 2006 and soon left HT...

He decided he wanted to make amends for the 13 years he had spent as a radical, so now he devotes himself to rebutting the very narrative he once passionately promoted.

And the interview:

Watch CBS News Videos Online

Once again. Such folks are invaluable. We must use them.

Goodbye Ernie Harwell. We'll miss you.

The best broadcaster in baseball, bar none

Army Navy Battle of the Music Vids: Who wins?

Sun Kings (Pump It) or 82nd Airborne Division (Some Lady Gaga song)?

Update, with correction. The gagas were actually Army 82nd Airborne Division. Tip o' the hat to the always informative Crispin at Wings Over Iraq!