Asim Qureshi Reviews Explosive New Book on ‘Jihadi John’

The Muhammad Emwazi I met in 2009 was indeed a polite and friendly young man as the author Robert Verkaik and man others attest to, but by the summer of 2014 he was executing innocent Muslims and non-Muslims in the name of the Islamic State and I could not recognise the man I had once known.

One year on from a difficult period my organisation and I encountered due to my inappropriate description of him once being a “beautiful young man” – one that I am regretful of due to the impact this insensitivity had on all families who were victims of his murders – we now finally have a book that is able to provide some balance to a story that must be understood.

When I introduced Verkaik, at the time a journalist at The Independent, to Emwazi, it was very much because I respected him – and still do – as someone who is balanced and fair-minded. Since before then, we had been orbiting around stories to do with security service harassment of young Muslim men and so developed a rapport where I knew that here was someone who would take the difficulties faced by these men seriously.

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Crosspost By: Dr Adnan Siddiqui

Following CAGE questioning the role the security services played in radicalising Mohammed Emwazi, individuals at CAGE came under attack and CAGE as an organisation sustained backlash for merely calling for accountability. In this piece, Dr Adnan Siddiqui (a CAGE board member) discusses that by countering the War on Terror narrative, CAGE are attempting to move from a “politics of pity” that maintains an unjust Western superiority, to the politics of real justice, in order to really advance human rights. 

(CC image courtesy of Jeremy Schultz on Flickr)

I am proud of being a director of CAGE. It has made me a better doctor, a better human and a better Muslim.” These were my words at a CAGE event a week after our press conference on the revelations about the identity of Mohammad Emwazi.

After all the uproar and accusations laid against us, surely this should prompt questions over my fitness to practise as a GP in the NHS. Surely I should be struck off? Being a bearded Muslim GP, it would be easy to demonise and caricature me as the latest folkloric devil, an “Islamist” Harold Shipman.

But the past two weeks and preceding 12 years as a CAGE director has taught me to ignore stereotypes and treat the patient in front of me irrespective of who they are and, more pertinently, irrespective of what they believe.

Contrary to popular belief, doctors do not swear the Hippocratic Oath on qualification, but all our codes of practice are very clear: “We must not unfairly discriminate against patients or colleagues by allowing our personal views to affect our professional relationships or the treatment you will provide or arrange”.

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