— Maajid Nawaz British activist 1977
Comments in The Story of God with Morgan Freeman (2016), Episode 2 : Apocalypse
Context: I think it's important just to distinguish between Islamism and Islam, a religion. What I mean by Islamism is the desire to impose any version of islam over society. Although ideology was sold to me as if it was the religion of Islam and that's what I adopted. I grew up facing a very, very severe form of violent racism, domestically within the UK. I'm talking hammer attacks, machete attacks by Neo-Nazi skinheads, thugs. On many occasions I had to watch as my friends were stabbed before my eyes as a 15 year old. I began seeing myself as separate from the rest of society and an islamist recruiter found me in that state as a young, angry teenager and it was very easy for that recruiter. I joined a group called Hizb ut-Tahrir and that's the group I spent 13 years of my leadership on. … It's the first islamist organization that was responsible for popularizing the notion of resurrecting a modern day theocratic caliphate, as we now see that ISIS has laid claim to. But, my former group, they were the first ones to popularize that term. I ended up in Egypt where I continued to recruit people to this cause. … I am still a Muslim, but I am now liberal. Now, when I was in prison and I was living with the Who's Who of the jihadist terrorist movements and islamist movements, we had a leader of the Muslim brotherhood. When I saw him I thought, "my God, if these guys ever came to power and declared a caliphate, it would be Hell on Earth." Of course, when ISIS eventually did declare the caliphate, that utopian dream that we all used to share has become that dystopic nightmare that we see now.