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My Brother The Islamist: Dealing with the shock and hurt

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Robb Leech Robb Leech | 10:21 UK time, Monday, 4 April 2011

I first found out that Richard, my step brother, had become an Islamist in a newspaper article. My initial reaction was one of disbelief - it had to be someone else, or a mistake...but it wasn't. Rich was the newest recruit of a man dubbed by the media the most dangerous man in Britain, Anjem Choudary.

My Brother The Islamist (Robb Leech and his brother Rich/Salahuddin)

Robb Leech and his brother Rich, now known as Salahuddin in My Brother The Islamist

In some respects the decision to make a film, My Brother The Islamist, was an easy one; I was an aspiring filmmaker and before my eyes was an incredibly topical, fascinating and unique story that I felt a responsibility to tell. But on a personal level, it was much more difficult. It was one thing telling a story, but to be deeply involved with the very emotional core of that story... I knew it would be a fine balance between the role of filmmaker and the reality of being part of a family so profoundly affected.

Luckily, the family were supportive. None of us knew anything about these sinister jihadists who Rich now regarded as brothers, or what they believed in, or even what Rich was like, now he had changed his name to Salahuddin and was calling for Sharia law across the UK. I wanted to get to the bottom of things and although the situation was extremely sensitive and upsetting for the family, I think they understood that making a film was my way of doing this, and if what I discovered on my journey could go some way to lift the ominous dark clouds of the unknown, they would stand behind me.

My Brother The Islamist (Robb Leech and his brother Rich/Salahuddin)

Twelve months later and I feel that the film, despite the emotions it has brought to surface, has gone a long way to lift those dark clouds. We can now see Rich in broad daylight, well almost. He may still hold the same views and dream of the total destruction of the west, but at least we have an insight and feel we can now engage with this distant world in which he and his brothers inhabit.

There were moments of real shock and hurt, such as when Rich told me he wouldn't shake my hand because I was a dirty kafir or when I watched as he and the brothers publicly burned the American flag on the anniversary of 9/11. But since the documentary, there have been moments of real hope too. I recently met with Rich after he had been given the rare opportunity of a preview. His feelings were mixed, but after we had finished talking and I had got back into my car, I noticed he was walking back towards me. I switched off the engine and got out. He shook my hand "...sorry about the handshaking thing" he said "I didn't mean to cause offence..." I drove away with a smile on my face; it was comforting to know that things can change, even if only with a fleeting handshake.

Robb Leech directs My Brother The Islamist. You can watch the documentary at 9pm tonight on BBC Three.

For more information about the programme and links to discover more about Islam, visit the My Brother The Islamist website.

Add your comment.


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  • Comment number 1.

    One quite surprising point to come out of Robb's film is the increasing number of white Islamist converts who were born and raised in Britain; they've become disallusioned with Western democracy and instead are looking for answers elsewhere. For some, it means finding religious faith...even if that takes them to the extremist edges...

    Ray Tostevin
    producer - My Brother the Islamist

  • Comment number 2.

    I am currently watching My Brother The Islamist, I am barely keeping my tears at bay. My son is too from a white middle class family, well educated. He too has converted to Islam. The similarities between the way Rich speaks and my son speaks is alarming. Indoctrination. My son's conversion has torn our family apart as his attitudes are so far removed from ours, from the way we live, from the way he has been brought up. My son too is very young, and thinks he has found the answer in Islam. I don't agree

  • Comment number 3.

    Hi, this programme has brought back all my worries, frustration and sadness. My son too is an Islamist. In 2009 at the age of 17 my son travelled to Yemen without telling us. He is now back in England and the worry and pain continues. Rich is very much like my son and it is hard to watch. Please if any of his family read this I would please ask that they get in touch. My life and the life of his father and his brother and sister has changed forever. I really need to speak to people who know how we are feeling. PLEASE GET IN TOUCH.

  • Comment number 4.

    I find this type of programme frightening, mainly because of these individuals are so scarily brainwashed (or appear that way) and seem so filled with hatred towards the Western World. These programmes ultimately reinforce how poisonous and threatening religion is, in particular some of those who follow the Islamic faith have a bizarre dislike of others - a deep dislike. Personally, I think the Government need to exercise more control over these groups of people.

    And as for accusing returning soldiers of murder - it is absolutely abhorrent.

  • Comment number 5.

    I wish to cause no disrespect towards any people of the muslim faith, my aunty is a converted muslim herself and I therefore have muslim cousins which are as big a part of the family as anyone else, but I was left shocked and disgusted by the antics of certain muslims in this show. British soldes put their lives on the line to help our country and to ensure that people of all faiths can live freely, and these muslim extremists believe that it is acceptable to show utter disrespect towards them which is disgusting. If these people are not prepared to admit the bravery of these soldiers then they do not deserve to be helped or protected by them! Also, if they do not believe in the ways of the Western world then why choose to live here? Instead of trying to cause distuptions for British civillians the extremists in this show should seriously re-think their beliefs and actions!

  • Comment number 6.

    All these guys have somethings in common

    - no friends
    - loners - outcasts
    - emotionally insecure

    - its basically 'phychological rape! what these terrorists are doing.

    Who too blame??? UK GOVERNMENT!! - seems like if you are english - you have no rights!!

  • Comment number 7.

    I think this was an excellent film and through its balance and focus on a human story, I feel I have gained some insight into a world I have very limited experience of. I also found it incredibly moving. Thank you.

  • Comment number 8.

    WOW! What an insightful and well directed documentary. Robb you came across brilliantly and I am extremely proud of you mate. Fantastic documentary and very informative.

  • Comment number 9.

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  • Comment number 10.

    wow great documentary. im a born muslim & i love my faith but i was suprised that I couldnt even relate to Rich.

  • Comment number 11.


    As a British born Muslim, I watched this programme with interest and really felt for Robb especially when his brother said some insensitive things and I am glad the blog shows that Salahuddin apologised for the whole handshaking thing which is completely ridiculous.

    Islam reminds people to look after their family regardless of faith and I'm also glad Ben saw the light. Groups like Islam4UK are a blight on all Muslims and are too literal and quite small minded.

  • Comment number 12.

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  • Comment number 13.

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  • Comment number 15.

    I don't know all these parents are worried about their converted children. why don't they look at the positive side of things, those who convert to Islam immediately change their behavior towards their parents and to everyone else. Islam makes one trustworthy, kind , charitable & all those good things. & those parents know that this is true, you can speak to any parent that has had their child convert to Islam and they will tell you how much more kinder their child has become, especially towards them.

  • Comment number 16.

    I thought it was a fantastic programme, and feel saddened that your brother has turned into an Extermist. However, i'm actually feel frustrated and both angered. This depicts all muslims, whether they converts or not as extremists. When or when will there be a documentary showing the 99.9% of muslims that are NOT extremists...Will the BBC or any other media channel show this? i dont think so....

  • Comment number 17.

    Thank you Robb for such a fantastic documentary. A rarity with such heart and feeling and with it such a huge issue of our day. I very much dislike some of the societal problems that we have in the UK today, but this radicalism is 'so' not the answer and it is so deeply sad to see people turning to Islam. The likes of Geert Wilders are so right with the fundamental aims of Islam and it is shocking to see these beliefs played out against the society these people live in. If anything it is working against a cohesive society and that is so sad. they say that 'Islam is a peaceful religion' but disagree and your head is cut off. What is this country to do to stop this cancer in our midst, among a broken Britain. so so sad

  • Comment number 18.

    I just watched that, and to all the non-muslims, i am very sad that these guys had to meet Anjum, because that man is way, way, way beyond 'extremist'. The things that they were saying iin that conference were pretty ridiculous, and i've even had the displeasure of arguing with them in the street about the UN intervention in Libya, which is where I'm from.
    All i can say is, to everyone: look what is happening in the middle east, millions of people rising up not for the 'destruction of the west' but for freedom. Everything happening in the arab world has proven that hizb ul tahrir dont speak for muslims. they even tried to hijack an anti-gaddafi protest in london, but walked off when none of us gave them any attention. These people need to be ignored, because they are simply attention seekers.
    I like what Ben said at the end about looking at it from a neutral point of view. One point the extremists forgot to mention was how in the quran it says 'La ikrah fid deen' - "there is no compulsion in religion".

  • Comment number 19.

    People have a right to their own views, that is what this country has fought for for generations. But it worried me when the film showed that these Fundamental Islamists would protest on Rememberance Day. I was disgusted as the 'major' wars that RD represents, WWI & WWII, were both fought with no religion in mind, and was fought on the grounds of Freedom and Democracy, with no faith or religion in mind. These people have no right to "smear" the memories of the Soldiers that fought for both Freedom and Justice.

  • Comment number 20.

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  • Comment number 21.

    This was a great programme and I thought it was a fair way to get both sides views across. I hope anyone watching will see that we need to stop this sort of movement growing any further as they are dillusional. It must be so hard for anyone who has suffered this as there is no clear reason for these sorts of things to happen, especially in places like Weymouth.

  • Comment number 22.

    my husband and i have watched this program and we're both born muslims who have been bought up in England. I think the path Rich has been introduced to has its pros and cons. We consider ourselves as religious and agree with parts of his contribution but i'd just like to share that when someone choses to revert to Islam their family should still be a great priority. Islam says that family ties must be kept wether they're muslim or not. To all those who are convinced all muslims behave the same way its like me believing all non-muslims are the same. you can't tarnish everyone with the same brush..

  • Comment number 23.

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  • Comment number 24.

    I think, that for people who do not read what islam is about for themselves cannot really judge, the programme has portayed islam to be extreme, but that is not the case. And recently a solider set a to a mosque in stoke on trent, if that was a muslim who set fire to a church or another place of worship it would be seen a extreme !!!!

  • Comment number 25.

    I am a Muslim that prays 5 times a day and I must admit I was appalled by some of the views on the programme by Islam4Uk and its members. Islam is a religion of love and peace, it teaches people to love their parents and care for their neighbours. These people are not perfect themselves and need to perfect their religion before they go to others and preach their extreme views. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was a man of love and peace. The burning of the Flags was shocking and appalling. If your son is part of this Islam then you need to save him before it’s too late.

  • Comment number 26.

    As a humanist with quite strong atheist tendencies, the characters in this film riled me intensely. Ordinarily I'd dismiss them as insane, indoctrinated and foolish, I'd begin spouting Hitchens or Dawkins, eventually turning to a Prof Brian Cox documentary to calm me down and remind of real world facts.
    However, your portrayal of your brother's entry into Islam and the subsequent attempt to indoctrinate the young Ben, brought it right home to me. Home indeed, as I also live in Weymouth.
    I feel immensely sorry for the families of these poor lads (any girls ever convert in such extreme ways? any girls ever even covert?), it must be so worrying to lose your child to what amounts to a militant gang - no less frightening than the militant wings of the BNP or EDL.
    Great film Rob, thank you.

  • Comment number 27.

    i`d like to say well done for doing that documenty , i`m a proud member of the EDL , I am not a rasict in any way , i was more shocked that a 17 year old was being converted into a very dangerous life style. I do hope these sort of documentries can give the english defence league the chance to be shown not a rasict football hooligans and recently called a travelling riot , We all have the right to say what we think , and we all have the right to believe in what we believe
    .peace is all the united kingdom asks for , no surrender x a patriot 4 the uk

  • Comment number 28.

    To the author of the documentary please visit the following forum to find out what will most likely be the next phase of your brother's 'spiritual' journey.

    This forum has literally 1000s of ex-muslim members many of whom also held Islamist views.

    The real story, though not publicised, is how many people are leaving Islam not joining it.

    All the best

  • Comment number 29.

    Love - not hate - is the only way forward. Treat everyone the way you yourself want to be treated. Hatred can never win.

  • Comment number 30.

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  • Comment number 31.

    Watching this documentry has shocked me! Im a muslim women and i interact with alot of non muslims i would never use force on them to become muslims, i just cant understand how your brother said That Allah(God) said to speak harshly with the non believers im born a muslim and know that you should invite people to islam with peace and be humble has your brother forgotten the words of the messenger Of God You should never break ties with your family no matter what religion they are from,The prophet"s uncle who raised him was infact a idol worshiper and the prophet never uttered anything that would hurt him he looked after everyone even if he was a non muslim he was kind and gentle, Your brother needs to get out of this thinking and should concentrate on being a humble man, Its sad to see theres people above who are taking verses from the quran and manipulating them instead of reading into it more, I would just like to say Islam is not hatred but PEACE. goodluck with everything and i hope your brother is guided.

  • Comment number 32.

    I'm a muslim myself but what these brothers were doing/saying, i consider it too extreme. Islam is a peaceful and a very good religion but we not going to exclude the society that accepted us by calling them Kufars who need to be killed, The hadith says "we NOT supposed to force anyone into Islam, our role is to portray the truth towards them and leave the decision up to them", fellow muslim brothers and sisters, we not gonna win this war if we exclude the society we live in, it houses, feeds, schools and offer medical assistance to us, the least we can do is to join them. I do blame Blair and Bush for all this, before they decided to invade Muslim countries, the hatred towards the west was very low and now even the coalition doesnt seem to have learnt from its predecessor, they are now invading Libya whereas other people in searra Leone are dying but don't see any intervention

  • Comment number 33.

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  • Comment number 34.

    Enjoyed your film very much; it is an eye-opener for many people that there are so many white converts to Islam but the old adage is as true as ever: there's none so pious as the newly converted.

    In many respects the attitudes of these men (and it was all men) were almost identical to those of the fundamentalist Christians shown in the Louis Theroux programme last night.

    It seems that there is a sizeable minority of people who crave the reassurance of a philosophy which provides all the answers, in fact discourages any questioning of it. Certainly the most likely candidates for this are those who seem to have self-esteem issues and grasp like a drowning man at a straw to those who offer some sort of "family". Basically it's a cult like any other.

  • Comment number 35.

    'The world is a prison for the believer and paradise for the disbeliever' - prophet Muhammad [Peace be upon Him]

  • Comment number 36.

    Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

    I believe in God, only I spell it Nature.

  • Comment number 37.

    To those parents /families of people who have accepted Islam in the shape of the persons show in Rob's film, please please know that some of us are and have been trying very hard to counter this narrative of hatred and blind literalism. Islam is a beautiful, not an ugly monster as the faces of this people depict and their bad manners display. Their contradictions are clear. However, hate does not cure hate. Just grievances do exist and justice is not exclusive to some and not to others.

    Having had personal experience of this process of 'radicalisation'..please accept this post as gesture of respect and understanding. They are a minority, cult. However, many Muslims are oblivious or ignorant to the plight of converts. Groups like this prey on coverts simply because they know they will lack the awareness to make informed choices.

    I wish I could say more,but this space is not appropriate.

    Rob, good effort.

  • Comment number 38.

    i think to be fair, there is always an extreme of some sort - unfortunately they cannot see how their actions effect others around them. the younger boy (17 year old) seemed to have a clear mind set, which wasn’t as extreme as the other.
    with regards to sharia law, majority of the UK have a barbaric idea of this.

    with regards to sharia law, they are not calling for the town centers to publically display women being executed or chopping hands off. in fact it’s to child rights, women rights, marriage rights.

    and sharia law wouldn’t effect the non Muslims living in the UK - besides lets me realistic, would it happen.

    the Muslims are a minority - so why the big "hu ha" when it comes to this

    freedom of religion, practice and speech

  • Comment number 39.

    First, I loved the documentary.

    I too am a White convert, but from California. I currently reside here in the UK and have found the state of Muslims to be quite disturbing. The path many of these young converts take seems to be very normal. Most of it I believe has to do with the lack of support and organization within their greater communities. Many of their youth become disillusioned and seek something more significant within their belief system. For converts, usually it’s only these same radicals who are willing to hold “religious” gatherings in English. That’s very appealing for us, because we obviously would like to understand what’s being said. Many times I have gone to a Mosque, or lecture, and it’s in Urdu, what the heck do I know about Urdu???
    When I see the Hizb ul Tahrir, Mujahirun (Like Rich) I can only pray that they see that their actions, and their behaviour is nothing like our prophet. It is not acceptable to treat non-Muslims in such a negative way, and constantly belittle people of other faiths. These people memorize a few snippets of our vast religion, but they lack understanding. However, most of you can find some solace that most fade away from this line of thinking. They realize that their egos have driven them, not religious faith.

  • Comment number 40.

    I am extremely concerned by the issues raised in this programme. There are millions of good people in this world, many of whom are christian, moslem, buddhists, hindus and, dare I say it, atheists. For one particular group to claim the monopoly of truth is very disturbing.
    As long as we live in a democracy, where the majority of people decide their own government, we will never have Shari'ah law. I find it very disturbing that a minority group (in this country) feel the need to impose a system which is intolerant to say the least.
    Live and let live.

  • Comment number 41.

    Great documentary with a lot of insight. I'm what you call 'an ordinary Muslim' and i don't think it was differentiated too much in the show, i hope people don't fall into the the trap of believing that what these extremist groups are conducting is what all other Muslims follow.

    Rich, during the show said many statements and a lot of them were false. To iterate - Muslims and non-Muslims CAN be friends.

  • Comment number 42.

    I believe the failure lies with poor education that children have in our multi cultural society. Science and practical teaching are subjugated by faith lessons especially from faith schools. Evolution is still talked about as a theory not fact.
    Growing up in this liberal society does not give a framework to anyone and hence there are a certain type of person who craves boundaries and discipline that give them answers not questions. It is comfortable to have all the answers and no questions.
    This film highlights the plight not just of those who go to radical Islam but to any radical cult. It is a growing menace to society and will continue to be such until we have a proper science based better education system, without division and faith schools.

  • Comment number 43.

    Hey Robb...can I just say that your documentary was a very eye opening one especially for me being a Muslim...Anjum chaudary and his likes don't represent Islam and their views totally contradict the view of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) himself. I hope your brother will do more search and find the right path and I will also supplicate for him...if he looks more into real scholars and not bunch of loosers he hangs out with than he will realise soon how much of liars they are...and these bunch of 100/200 people against 1.5 billion muslims give us all bad names and it's frustrating to try and explain to non-muslims that Islam isn't this. Our Prophet was a mercy to mankind and he taught us to treat kindly to non-muslims. I can a write a whole essay on this subject but i just wish to finish by saying that May Allah guide your brother to the middle path.ameen!

  • Comment number 44.

    my name is mohammed and i wacthed your show today and sorry to say this but what your brother richard and his muslim friends have a complete misunderstanding of islam. islam first of all means peace in english and the prophet mohammed P.B.U.H never treated non believers in that way he actually told us to treat them in a good and very respectful way. islam to me is completetly different from what i have watched because some of these peoples do things with out knowing. as a muslim i think that islam should be told in a good way but they way the muslm brothers on the show did gave a bad impression of islam which makes non believers think islam is not a good religion which it is. islam is a religion of peace brotherhood and most of all how to treat people and how to give islam in a way people will understand it.

    I would love to meet you one day and discuss this matter because most people have a complete different impression about islam.

  • Comment number 45.

    If anyone in the government reads this blog or watched the program, please, I beg you, do something to stop this evil spreading through our society. How many mothers like me have to lose our sons to this religion because they are so disillusioned with our society? Why are we letting these extremists spread their hatred in the name of their God? Why are we allowing them to live amongst us committing acts that as far as I am concerned are treason? Why are you allowing us to sleepwalk into a Muslim State? Why do you not have the courage to stand up for our country, our culture, our people? Why?

  • Comment number 46.

    What a bizarre and contemptuous friendship. It's blinding clear that the brothers took a shine to Robb but at the same time they vocalised their utter contempt. I've never seen such repressed emotion since... well... last night on Louis Theroux.

    Fascinating documentary.

  • Comment number 47.

    very insightful programme! would like to firstly say how sad I feel for Robb but more so Rich. I think if religion helps people in anyway then this can only be a good thing, but for me it seems these extremists want nothing more than to push their own beliefs onto people in ways that seem very damaging. Other religions can accept different beliefs and ways of life yet this radical group can not and yet still want to live in a Christian country?? im baffled!!

  • Comment number 48.

    what disgusts me about these youngsters is how they will live in this country, take advantage of our utilities, luxuries, shops, peace keeping forces, freedom of speech BUT feel that they have the right to try to take others freedom of speech, beliefs and right to a democratic life. They seem to have no understanding that for them to be able to behave this way shows that we live in a democracy consequently everyone has the right to their own beliefs and lifestyle and NO ONE has the right to criticise, dictate or make assumptions on others beliefs. These young people carry British passports but they say they hate the country they were born can that be ok? What is wrong with us and our government. This programme made me feel sad and depressed...something has to change.

  • Comment number 49.

    I've just finished watching this programme and I am deeply saddened by the hate that has penetrated these young mens' hearts. I am a practicing Muslim and I have come away from this programme feeling deeply saddened by the beliefs I have just heard these young men air. There is no room for extremism in Islam and I truly wonder at those that feel it just to preach such deep hatred and extremism amongst mankind and then seek to label it the word of God. What worries me the most is that I profess to believe in the same faith as these extremists and yet I can tell you with all my heart that I feel nothing but deep sorrow for the pain and suffering that the families connected to these men have experienced. I also feel accountable for the fact that the (true) Muslim community is not doing more to deradicalise these groups, especially given that nothing in their message has room in our faith. I pray that God eases your pain, or that you find peace elsewhere, but mostly I pray that true peace is bestowed in the troubled hearts of these men. Hate has no room in the hearts of Muslims.

  • Comment number 50.

    Alienation from civil society can take many forms, it's an unfortunate that religious faith which is such a blessing and joy to millions can be exploited. Watching your documentary I was struck by the fact that your brother has all but excluded his family from his personal journey, I hope that in time he will find a way back to his family and community while continuing to draw strength from his faith. I can understand that pain that some of his words and deeds cause his family but keep an open heart and door and God willing in time he will hold out his hand towards you.

  • Comment number 51.

    I would just like to point out that the term 'ISLAMIST' is wrong as it implies that people who practice religious extremism are essentially of the muslim faith, and practice islam. The version of Islam that you have shown in your program, which your brother and his religious brothers practice, is not what the majority of muslims practice or believe.
    We believe that Islam is a religion of tolerence and love, and of sub servience to the laws of Allah. These laws are about loving fellow human beings, being kind and gentle to all living things, even plants and animals, and to refrain from harming anyone unless they harm you.
    The radicalists that you have shown are like radicals/extremists of any other religion. why do only the extemists of islam have to be given this label that automatically puts the whole religion at fault.

  • Comment number 52.

    It's not fair that every programme about Islam shown on TV is about the extreme minority with views that the other 99% of Muslims don't have; It increases tension and racism because the public see Islam negatively as that's all that is portrayed to them.

    How about making a program about the views of the majority of Muslims?

  • Comment number 53.

    Islamists, like the ones in this film, operate from a position of hate and resentment. Their interpretation of 'jihad' is moulded by Wahabbi extremism, promoted worldwide by the House of Saud for decades now, at a cost of many billions of dollars...and by their contemptible, self-seeking 'elders', in evidence in this film, shouting and wagging their fingers. Honest, decent Muslims are ashamed of these fools.

  • Comment number 54.

    Isn't it ironic that they are using the right of Free Speach and Thought... to try and bring in a law that doesn't allow Free Speach and Thought!?

    I was born into Islam but left the religion because it doesnt allow free thought & speech...

  • Comment number 55.

    Hi everyone reading this and other peoples worries, I am a fellow muslim but don't agree with the exterimist views, islam is about peace, love, welcoming everyone, treating everyone as equal no matter there faith,race etc i am young muslim and enjoy life just by following 5 pillars of islam, do my normal things study,go out with mates, clubbing(don't drink). for those who are worried about there family member who convert just support them and read into the islam a little more but other views not just the extereme views which are on television. There is a lot more to islam than what you read in papers and watch on TV. Once you read into other views into islam you can express your views to your family members and keep them on correct path and away from the extremism. Hope this helps people

  • Comment number 56.

    One of the things which perhaps got overlooked at the start of the programme was a comment made by Robb, where he asked why his brother couldn't have just become a normal muslim. I really hope that everyone understands that Anjum Choudhary and people of his thinking are in the minority, quite a loud one at that, but they do not represent Muslims as a whole. I have been a Muslim for 16 years, and this was not the Islam I took on board. I would like to re-assure WorriedMumUK and Boudica2, even though I am a convert I understand your worry. But there is something called 'Salafi Burnout' which may be worthwhile googling. A lot of the people shown in this programme are part of very dogmatic, literal and contrived version of Islam, often referred to Salafi. Any muslim who does not live upto their 'pure' view of islam is considered to be a disbeliever, I myself have had personal experience of this. However I have seen people who have followed this form of Islam very intensely for a few years, but then something happens commonly referred to as burnout because it has been so intense in such a short period of time. Eventually some of these people mellow and actually discover the true mainstream form of Islam. There is hope!

  • Comment number 57.

    From a personal side the programme dealt well with such a sensitive subject though the question of why, when & how remains! There is no happy ending for such families as Robb's. It's scary to think that people can openly show hate towards the state they live in and have no action taken against them. Those of us who disagree with their beliefs would never have the freedom in Idlamic states to demonstrate as they did. I am glad to read from the blog that Rich somewhat came to and shook your hand.

  • Comment number 58.

    I feel for the family in this programme and sad that Richard found and accepted a small group of 'Muslims' in a small network in the east end of London who have global jihadi ideas. These Islamists are a tiny minority of a minority in this Country that shout the loudest and hence get a 'voice' in the Media. The general Muslim population never get heard as they do not stand in street corners, thug like, shouting and screaming. As a Muslim I am embarassed and lower my head in shame at the actions of the likes of Anjem Choudray and his gang of street thugs.

  • Comment number 59.

    Very well done on this moving and disturbing documentary which deserves to be shown again soon on BBC1 or 2, perhaps to be followed by a studio discussion. It was sad to see the way in which Rich now speaks only in the slogans and accents of his Islamist group, with all his free and independent thinking suppressed. He liberally sprinkles his discourse with inshalla and mashalla as if this makes him automatically devout. It's all the external trappings of the religion plus the comfort of a new social networking group, albeit a religion-based one, rather than a sense of a deep spiritual experience. Touching to see Ben's middle-class mum doing her best to come to terms with his new beliefs and, unlike Rich, Ben didn't object to his mother appearing on screen unveiled lest it brought shame...and he seemed generally more open-minded than Rich.
    Among other things the film was another example of the pernicious influence of Anjem Choudhary who is now radicalising yet another generation of young Britons, including white converts who seem particularly zealous about martyrdom. Once again one is compelled to ask, how come this awful man is allowed to continue his dangerous activities unchalleneged by the authorities.

  • Comment number 60.

    I was born as Muslim raised as Muslim all my life. Islam is a peaceful religion and I was very angry and disappointed I the way the Islamic religion was being portrayed by the Rich, now known as Salahuddin.
    Prophet Muhammad Peace be upon him has taught us a lot and one of the main thing is not to hate each other regardless of their religion, but to respect each other. I would urge anyone who converts to Islam to thoroughly research and learn the basic concept of Islam. Once you do this you will clearly see that Islam DOES NOT AND MUST NOT promote hatred, but it teaches people to be respectful, to be kind, to be loving towards other people. By doing this action it will show the TRUE ISLAM.
    I have never seen anywhere in the Kor’an, which states that Muslim must not shake non Muslim or that they should be shake with dirty hand. This is all false.
    Robb – I would strongly advise your step brother Rich, now known as Salahuddin. To get educated better and gain more knowledge in the teaching of Islam. PLEASE ACCEPT MY SINCERE APOLOGY FOR ANY MISGUIDED INFORMATION GIVEN BY your step brother.

  • Comment number 61.

    Fascinating programme, if slightly un-nerving. As an ex-Soldier i found some of that behaviour repugnant, which i would consider a reasonable reaction. However, the most profound feeling i am left with after viewing is their complete lack of compromise in their views. Personally i don't practise any one religion, i think all religions have good that can be taken from them, and my own belief is that a combination of these good aspects can only make a person more rounded and well balanced, too much of anything is bad for makes me wonder what would happen if the world were to become sharia.....what would happen then? Would the world become a friendly brotherhood overnight, would crimes stop, wars end, peace be on earth? I doubt it, especially as people even in countries where sharia is prevalent still break the very rules these people are trying to instill. Those actions inthemselves surely conclude that not even sharia has the perfect answer?

    So my conclusion is...why are they pushing so hard for a kind of future - that doesn't even work in their own countries at present?

  • Comment number 62.

    Fantastic, touching film, my best friend recently embraced islam and we have both investigated the religions values, history and coinciding history from other independent sources. What we understand is that what is happening to some reverts is that they are taking teachings from other sources than the koran, many pamplets leavlets and paper backs where in the program, this is where they get there knowledge from not the koran. This is nothing new with islam. Both I (a non muslim) & he discovered that “Modern day” Islam is actually not from the koranic view. Most of the teachings are based not on the Koran but the Sunah which is the ways and sayings of the prophet mohammed. It repeats in the Koran that it is the final word, so clearly forbids following theses Hadeeth books that came 300 years later.

    Many Islamic states and sects are of this strictly because of the belief in different hadeeth. If you challenge a Muslim on the Sunah or the Hadeeth, they will tell you that there are good and bad hadeeth and that only some should be considered, this is where the confusion sets in. This literal belief in hadeeths which have shaped the modern day muslim faith for both extremist and non extremists is the true cause of evil. FACT: The Koran was sent to confirm the Bible and the word of Jesus, there should be no divisions between the two faiths, it is culture and belief and following information that confuses and goes against the core message. This debate needs to be had! Once again Fantastic program! I hope the younger lad continues to investigate and Rich see’s the True Islam.

  • Comment number 63.

    Hi,this program is not showing the real Islam and British Muslim who serve Britain in good and positive proud to live in this country and also what this country do to help Muslim and Arab countries in positive my point of view those extremist are trying hard to ruin the pure reputation of Islam.i wish if i can meet one of those guys so i can teach them what Islam is because they brainwashed from somebody who doesn't know about Islam. finally i want to send massage to Anjem Choudary who brainwashed those guys,i hope you can open your eyes and find the true Islam and respect everyone Muslim and non-Muslim because end of the day we all human being.

  • Comment number 64.

    I read the 4 first comments and that links exactly what we gone and going through at the moment. A family member has converted from being a catholic to Islam and has destroyed the whole family. Watching tonight's program brought back the memories of what we went through for nearly 6 years now. It is really hard to sit and think why people do that. The converted family member had no reason whatsoever to go through that route, he wasn't an alcoholic, taking drugs, smoking or anything like that. He did everything behind our backs, went to conferences , meetings, Islamic families and followed the route he can't get out of it any more. He doesn't like to visit us any more as we are non Muslims. I know exactly what these families are going through, but as Rob said at the end of the program they have to wait a life time to find out if it was worth it.

  • Comment number 65.

    After watching this programme with my husband (we are both young practising British Muslims who pray 5 times a day and follow the teachings of the Koran and Prophet Muhammed, S.A.W) I found disheartening that again through a small minority of muslims with misguided views of Islam, have been given a platform to misrepresent the majority (ummah) views of muslims in the West.

    I would like to say to Robb that kuffur is not a word that Muslims should use and the Koran teaches Muslims to respect all religions and refers to Christians and Jews as People of the Book. As a muslim even to me your brother comes across very scary in his views and we can only say that Insha Allah if he breaks away from Anjem Choudhary and other manipulative extremists, he may mellow in his way of thinking and follow the Koran for what it is - a peaceful religion

  • Comment number 66.

    As a Muslim I found this really heartbreaking. It must be tearing the families apart and I wish I could ask these men and women to show me where in the Quran does it say whatever they follow. Although I must say people do change and so will they, at least most of them will.

  • Comment number 67.

    Just want to say that not all Muslim are like the ones on the show. I feel for these converts as they have been guided and brain washed by the wrong types of Muslims.

    Like Ben said on the programe people should look at all the different groups and make a informed decision.

  • Comment number 68.

    Dear All, peace be on you all.
    Great show, I would like to tell you about Hadiths. Signs about the end time, it says the islam and Dawa will come from the west. I am Muslim from N.W.F.P. Us mulim dont read much as compare to british born. These converts were looking for answer and they found it in islam. If you have islam channel turn it on. All the presenter are
    British born convert i.e, Cat Steven, Yusuf Estate and so many. God opened their eyes and they feel peace in it. Their families are great the support them. Maggie, inshallah you will be proud of your son. If I hurt anyone feeling. I am sorry but this is the truth.

  • Comment number 69.

    What I can't get my head around is why if they hate non believers so much and everything the west represents, why on earth are they living in this country? And why weren't they arrested for burning the American flag and inciting hatred, when the pastor in Florida who only threatened to burn the koran was vilified and banned from coming into this country?

  • Comment number 70.

    I found this documentary extremely biased. I am shocked that the BBC endorses Islamophobia as well. I'm not refuting that these guys are extremists. But they are only a very small minority of the faith. Most Muslims are NOT like this and DO NOT hold these views. The documentary portrays all Muslims are people full of hatred for the west. I'm a British Muslim and I have no hatred for the west at all. If I had been born and brought up in a Islamic country I wouldn't have had the freedoms and the right to choose my own lifestyle as I do in Britain.

    Robb's question to Ben about whether he would die for Islam and then commenting that if Ben would then that's a fundamentalist opinion, really aggravates me. Any decent man or woman would die for their beliefs whether they are religious or non-religious. I would die for Islam, but this documentary would portray me as a fundamentalist. I would die to defend MY country (England), does this make me a fundamentalist? I would die for basic human rights to be implemented in many countries, does this make me a fundamentalist?

    The guys in this documentary are of a minority of the faith. Most Muslims, like me, believe that these guys are absolute idiots. Please don't take this as an indication that the rest of us Muslims are like this.

  • Comment number 71.

    I am a pretty easy going person and i believe in live and let live BUT these extremists who dont like the way our society lives and calls us unclean should go away and live somewhere that suits them better. They are dangerous to have around and i find them quite insulting and i must admit, a wee bit annoying.

  • Comment number 72.

    Worriedmumuk and Boudica, as a mother of three sons, my heart goes out to you and also to the mum of the young muslim convert in the programme. I can't imagine how worrying and heart-breaking it must be to see your sons take on something so potentially destructive to themselves and others. Just to add, one of my sons is gay and I fear for him in the face of such hatred.

  • Comment number 73.

    I find the people in the programme sad bitter and without humility.

    If they preached a christian belief in Pakistan or Saudi Arabia they would be killed for disrespect to the Koran and the teachings of Allah.

    I feel sad how they use the natural tolerence of this country to preach hate.
    I have no problem with their views on the war in Iraq and the protests against soldiers.
    My problem is their views on Islam taking over by submission or war!!!!
    I hope our politicians are taking note.

  • Comment number 74.

    I live in a Muslim country and can assure you that 99% of muslims in Morocco are nothing like Rich and his deluded "bruvvers". I was horrified by what I saw on BBC Three tonight - not only by the sheer lunacy and ignorance of the converts but also by the laissez-faire attitude of the British police. You are far too lenient in the UK and I will be staying in Morocco where I feel a lot safer !

  • Comment number 75.

    I've just finished watching the documentary, and was absolutely outraged on what these people were saying! ..I'm a Muslim and the amount of stuff they said I have never heard in my entire life.. none of that is Islam at all! ..Islam is a religion of peace, love and UNITY.. these people are misguided and are being brainwashed by God knows who! ..and let me tell you the majority of Muslims would be shocked at what these bunch of 'Islamists' believe to be 'What Allah tells us'. I urge you all to search a man called Dr Muhammad Tahir ul Qadri, He is a world reknown Islamic cleric, he appeared on BBC, Sky news and CNN when he launched a fatwa against terrorism and suicide bombings last summer and he explains in it that such extremists and terrorists that think the killing of innocent people is ok are the 'dogs of hell'. He used evidences using passages from the Quran and the Hadith (the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad [peace be upon him]) It is a 600 page document that absolutely annihilates the extremists' way of thinking. This man (Dr Muhammad Tahir ul Qadri) is due to give an out-of-this-world, amazing lecture at a large scale peace conference on September 24th 2011 at the Wembley Arena London, named Global Peace Conference, its not one to miss!

    Robb I would suggest you try and go to this to see the true views of Islam! and maybe invite your brother to come along too! For more information on it visit PeaceForHumanity(DotNet) Finally, I really wish that your brother sees sense and starts to practise Islam as the peaceful way of life.. Peace to everyone :)

  • Comment number 76.

    Even the masterminds of multiculturalism (Straw et al) concluded that these people have become a problem. I suggest they are all required to sign on Friday lunchtimes.

  • Comment number 77.

    WHERE IS THE REAL ISLAM? I must admit that i did not find the programme shocking, but i was greatly hurt that only the extremist and radicalist groups who claim to be muslims were depicted. What happened to talking to the peaceful muslims who believe that we can find a solution to our problems together? Although the programme gave a good insight into the small groups of extremists that exist in the world it also showed a negative and unfair view of Islam. I feel that it would have been more beneficial to also show the more peaceful Islamic community, then people would know that not all Muslims are terrorists and there are those of them who resent the extremist view. The people in the programme have been twisted and brain washed, they have forgotten the true fundamentals of Islam that is; peace, unity and tranquility. It would be unjust and unfair to not do a follow up to this programme and speak to followers of the true Islam and hear their view of things, i think you'll find they are more welcoming and reasonable than the confused brothers you interviewed. I leave you with the islamic greeting that stands as a perfect example of what the religion truly teaches; PEACE be with you.

  • Comment number 78.

    After watching the film i am quiet suprised on how other people see Islam. I'm a muslim and half of the stuff that was said in this film is not true like the "hand shaking with the left hand". I don't believe in Jihaad and blowing people up. There are many types of muslims in this world some that are good and some that are vilonet and give out wrong messages about Islam. The people that Rich so calls his "brothers" are leading him in the wrong path Islam is a peaceful religion. I suggest that you help your brother to get away form these people and find some real muslims.

  • Comment number 79.

    Just watched this programme, and as moderate Muslims, both my husband and I found it balanced, thought provoking and honest. It is important to bear in mind that the vast majority of Muslims go about their daily lives with modesty, dignity and forbearance, and do not subscribe to these extreme, radical and literal views of the Islamist minority.
    Islam does have many contradictions, depending on your point of view, and it is up to the individual to find their own peaceful and moderate way through life.

  • Comment number 80.

    This was a fantastic documentary: taking an issue so personal and giving an insightful view into the many issues it raises.
    Something I feel it did raise is the inherent dislike extremists tend to have towards all non-believers. Regardless of who you are or how you behave, you will never be wholly accepted by them unless you convert, a choice you shouldn't HAVE to make to ingratiate yourself with anyone. It makes it seem like a pressure.
    Why such people cannot understand that people should be judged on their own merit and actions outside of being muslim or not is something I am yet to understand. Soldiers fight to protect people they care about, that is commendable regardless of who they are, they are not the ones who make the decision to go to war.
    To bring it back to the big picture I must say that many of my friends are muslim and don't have this problem.
    Mr. Leech this was something I was very curious about, thanks for such a great documentary.

  • Comment number 81.

    Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.

  • Comment number 82.

    A moving documentary! As a British Muslim I felt surprised and angry with Richards (Salahuddin) and his brothers views. Islam is a peaceful religion that seems to be hijacked by extremists. Although the documentary states that the beliefs of Salahuddin is minority and I wish the views of majority of muslim had been put forward. 

    My husband converted to Islam a few years ago and we work towards living a good peaceful life which includes his family. Which according to Salahuddin is not permissible.
    I feel for you and your family and pray to Allah that he finds the true meaning of Islam. 

  • Comment number 83.

    This has made me feel sick [Offensive comments removed by Moderator] bbc should of nether let you make this doc you shoudent me on tv I AM ENGLISH AND PROUD

  • Comment number 84.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 85.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 86.

    Im a Muslim and I honestly cannot relate to the Muslims in the documentary. I feel sad for the young men who have been brain washed and are portraying Islam as a violent religion, when the true meaning of Islam is peace. I am also disgusted at the so called Muslim imams who recruit these lost individuals, they need to sort their own lives before trying to take over the world

  • Comment number 87.

    I am muslim,dnt agree what these guys are saying,islam teaches us to be kind,tolerant,the show focused on one small group of the muslim community, I will say to everyone,go out and meet ur muslim community,attend local mosque,find out who we really are.Islam is beautiful no mother should wooried about her son, believe me true muslim will be kind, loving to his family,event if they dnt share the same faith.

  • Comment number 88.

    I'm a born Muslim, I was watching the documentary and all I could do was make supplication (dua) for Salahudin, because I used to walk in the path he used to, I was quite disappointed to know that he came across that type of group. I hope he is shown the true beauty of Islam, because as a Muslim, I am against some of the things that this particular group beliefs. This is the main reason why Islam is under scrutiny and why some Muslims struggle to practise their religion due to the way Islam has been portrayed not only by the media but also by certain groups. I hope my message reaches you all well.

  • Comment number 89.

    It's really sad how people take Islam as begin extremist when clearly its not and Islam does not teach extremist. I was born and bread here and I am Muslim I don't pray five times a day and I do have white friends who are form all walks of life I was brought not to judge anyone no matter what race or colour they are. In my house we welcome anybody with open arms. I pray when I want to and its about timing when you do want to become a good muslim. Islam teach's about love how to love each other and live in peace none of this extremist which make's me sooo angry as its giving us people like me whos minding there own business a bad name. If you want to convert to Islam find the true meaning in what is begin a Muslim all about and the true meaning of Islam, if I want to find out soemthing I go and do the research myself as I know that way I will find the truth and the true meaning. Its just sad the way your step-brother was and to me he has been brain washed by the wrong people and it's a shame. I mean am a artist I don't wear a scarf round my head as I chose not to wear I go out with my friends I don't drink and the fact I was brought to be open minded do my thing but one thing was not to disrespect my parents or my reglion.

  • Comment number 90.

    It is sad to see a bright guy like Richard the victim of political manipulation without realising it. That is the whole thrust of Islam - even to question it is a sin, which is quite a clever ruse to stifle opposition. Then you gain power over people.

    There is no point in trying to rationalise with someone like Richard. The key thing is to look at the reasons why people are indoctrinated and try to address them. In the current climate, that is not easy.

    It is not at all surprising that young men find the inclusive lifestyle attractive as compared with maybe unemployment and a struggle to make ends meet. (However it was impossible not to notice that Richard lives in a very smart pad - but doesn't work as he's out all day leafleting; who's funding that?)

    Perhaps the saddest part of all was seeing the sacrifices Richard has made in pursuit of a fictional goal. Alas, he is way beyond ever asking himself any challenging questions about the validity of it. Meanwhile, he lives life in monochrome.

  • Comment number 91.

    Boudica2 wrote about her son in this blog. All I can say is that find some Muslim family/friends and ask them how to help you. Your son needs to see and be with normal everyday Muslim groups or people and see the norm and not the extreme, cult like behaviour of groups like Islam4uk. There are many white Muslim converts leading a normal healthy life with family and friends from all walks of life. My family is such a family. There is nothing to be scared of about Muslims. Its this extreme jihadi type so called 'Muslims' that are a threat to all persons, of all faiths including Muslims.

  • Comment number 92.

    I don't understand how these people can so clearly insite racial hatred without reproach, yet we all know that if a Christian, for example, was to preach hatred for non Christians, calling them disgusting, or if someone was to burn the flag of an Islamic state or say the lifestyle of the muslim culture was wrong and the people who practised it would burn in hell fire, that person would certainly be arrested and shamed. People are being so brain washed today by 'equal rights' views that they don't notice the absolute inequality that has resulted in their fear of saying anything that might brand them as "racist", but it's a two way street, or at least it should be. This country has gone so far past equality that the white Briton is the under dog, it's like being a prisoner in your own country.

  • Comment number 93.

    Dear All,
    I am a Muslim and I would like to say that the Mothers of these converts should not be alarmed because the views portrayed by these two converts to Islam is a very very minority view of the Muslims, possibly one percent. I know many muslims converts who live a very peaceful life and hold views of majority muslims which is respect for others, even non muslims and respect the legal system of the country your livingin and practice Islam within the laws of the country you are living in.
    Not to have hatred and respect other peoples religion.
    I must emphasise this is the view held by majority views of muslims in the this country.
    This program was very very pacific and looked at only two individuals and at a minority extremist group called Hizbul Tehrir. This groups views is disagreed upon by all the Muslims in this country and all the Mosques.
    As far as I know this group has no backing or support from any other Mosques in this country and generally speaking Mosques represent views of the Muslim Public.

    We as Muslims believe in looking after our elders, parents and brothers and sisters even if they are non muslims and treat them with respect and honour. A muslim believes that if a Muslims is praying that if someone is going to fall and hurt themselves we should break our pray and help that person.

    Our Prophet said :Paradise is beneath the feet of your Mother, treat her with respect.
    The Prophet was always kind to his Uncle even though he was never a Muslim.
    The Prophet (pbuh) helped an old woman who was town and carried her baggage for her even though she was not a Muslim.

    Majority Muslims should be tolerant of others in this country.

    through this TV program people should not be alarmed or concerned majority of muslims are caring and loving human beings. To test this speak to a Muslims in your community and and get a true picture of a Muslim.

  • Comment number 94.

    Once again the bbc has done a very good job at showing islam to be extreme when it is not, islam does preach peace and non violence. In the uk when people hear the word islam they associate it with terrorism when tht is not the case, the ira bomings in ireland were they not a terrorist act? The killing of the police of officer in ireland on saturday was that not a terrorist act? The media does not potray this as much as it has done with Islam, why is this??

  • Comment number 95.

    As many others will agree Im sure. You end up with more questions than answers after watching this. Also its wording a response that ensures I cant be labelled a racist by providing my own views. Here goes, first of all why would anyone choose to stay in a country thats so corrupt and against their beliefs? The pilgrims left England for America to avoid religeous persecution hundreds of years ago, so why would you not leave this den of eniquity in favour of a country that shared your beliefs? Thats all I will say on that. One thing that never came up was the female role in Sharia law. Im sorry but them to say their laws are advanced and just when they treat women as second class, married off when still children in the eyes of the British Law and the "seen and not heard" mentality where women are concerned is not advanced quite the opposite, more like neanderthol. Im sorry theres no place in Britain for that way of thinking. Finally as a former soldier and proud to have served I with hold any comments in regard to the protest, disgusting thats the type of thing that should carry a jail sentence as a crime against the crown

  • Comment number 96.

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    I hope you could help me I am a Muslim and I read the Quran. However, no where in the entire Quran I came accross the Shahadah "There is no god beside God and Muhammad is His messenger", the only Shahada in the Quran which is repeated many times for example in (2:163, 3:2, 3:18, 3:62, 21:25) is "There is no god besides God" surley this can't be true. If this is the true Shahadaa than why is it not in the Quran.

    Also one other thing which I do not understand is why it says "..Muhammad is His messenger", however Muhammad is not alive...

    Please could you explain this from the Quran...


  • Comment number 97.

    Freedom of speech is one thing to be proud of in this country, but the right to use it against our armed forces on our soil is treasonable in my book.
    In law, treason is the crime that covers some of the more serious acts of betrayal of one's sovereign or nation and disloyalty by virtue of subversive behavior.
    They consider they are at war with us, so why can we not charge them with treason instead of pacifying them all the time whilst they try to start a civil war and then take over to apply Sharia Law instead.
    The law in Britain was that if you committed high treason, i.e. acting upon an attempt for Revolution or Attempting to Kill the Monarch, then you'd face the death penalty, it was changed when Labour allowed the European Law of Human Rights act to be passed into British law in 1997, now it carries a life imprisonment. The law for 'regular Treason', i.e. Plotting Revolution, also carries life as its sentence.

  • Comment number 98.


    I found your film spell-binding and insightful; raw, brave, sincere and honest. What a situation you and your family are all in. Congratulations for exploring this very personal journey with a public audience. Thank you also for the opportunity to give feedback and share my own experience as a convert.

    When I was younger I got involved with a religious organisation 'by accident' and suddenly 13 years of my life passed me by.... I did not realise that I was losing my identity to the group and that, over time I had internalised a discourse, set of norms and beliefs that were symptomatic of this religion and were not actually my own. It was such a gradual journey!

    I recognised my younger self in the young (white) converted Muslim men you interviewed; all intelligent seekers trying to make sense of the (personal and general) injustice and suffering they see around them. The reason why they chose/found Islam rather than another world religion or new age or whatever is in some ways immaterial perhaps; as it seems that there is quite a formulaic journey for a conversion narrative into any religion, cult or belief-system which meets complex Needs (such as a sense of identity and belonging, worth, confidence, being special and critically some kind of sense of cosmological PURPOSE).

    It might be an interesting area of research for you to explore. There are some great anthroloplogical texts exploring the nature and power of conversion narratives and the FUNCTION of these states of emotional, psychological and cultural transformations. Van Gennep and also Turners work on rites of passage may be useful reading.

    I left the religion and everyone I knew associated with it behind, quite suddenly a few years ago. The cognitive dissonance and mental gymnastics required to maintain this religious perspective became more and more time-consuming and exhausting: trying to maintain a divergent world-view from the mainstream after a while just seemed absurd, elitist and escapist! Upon reflection I can see that I was a sensitive and troubled youngster seeking escape from my problems and also from the responsibilities and obligations of the adult western world by joining in this religion which seemed to offer some wise answers with acceptable trade-offs to my freedom; where I could live communally and not have to deal with money, council tax, rent, even making food or washing my clothes.... It took a long time to realise there is no such thing as Utopia and that any belief has the capacity to enslave and also infantalise! Steep trade-offs indeed.

    Hey ho- live and learn! Fortunately the balance of fear:control was not as extreme in the religion I fell into as there is within Islam. Dont give up hope, your brother may still come to the conclusion that he does not NEED an external religion to give him a sense of worth/purpose as he gets older, and he may find the strength and opportunity to walk away. Reading your blog above, regarding his realisation that he hurt you when he would not shake your hand, would have been a very big step for him.

    I wish you, him and your family all the best in the future!

  • Comment number 99.

    Well yea just goes to show when you mix with the wrong crowd what can happen Rich isn't brain washed just easily lead by another ideaology, it might lead him to blow himself up but it's his vessel. look at the bigger picture what humans are like we all contridict each other in every way possible. I converted to Islam 23 yrs ago, I learnt the Quran back to front- front to back in Arabic & English & understand it in MY way NO-ONE else can influence me many Muslims tried when I was 18yr to 22yr but afterwards I worked out whats RIGHT & WRONG. Thank God my belief is as strong now as it was 23yrs ago.

  • Comment number 100.

    Why has the hateful Choudary not been deported or arrested?

    Astonished how no one was arrested for inciting racial hatred.

    I wish I had watched Lambing Live tonight instead of watching this depressing truth which I encounter on almost a daily basis living in Finsbury park.

    Wake up Britain!!

    No Im not a racist !!

    Are we scared to stand up against this rot?

    MPS we need you to sort this rubbish out !!

    Freedom , peace and love for all people of all faiths, colours and sexuality that live in this great democracy.


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