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“Reflections from a Former Islamic Extremists” is an interview with Ed Husain, and as the title states, he was a former Islamic radical. In the interview he says that “al-Qaeda is just a name” and explains that even if the “war on terror” takes stops al-Qaeda, it will not solve that problem because it is a way of thinking for many people, he thought that the “war on terror” should be renamed to “a battle of ideas.”

One of the things that are alarming to me is that he claims many “terrorists” or “extremists” starts that way because “it is about identity” and they “didn’t have a strong identity to start off with.” That statement is true for so many individuals these days that it is scary. We have already seen Islamic extremists recruit people from right here inside of our own country and while “not all who wander are lost,” the fact is that there are so many lost people vulnerable to the ideas of hate and terror.

Later in the interview, he was talking about his friends that had become suicide bombers, and he described one of his old bomber friends as being “teddy bear of a guy that he was generous and kind and selfless.” That really stood out to me, simply because when we see pictures of these people, they are usually mug shots, or scowling faces that you want to quickly erase from your mind. However, you have to think, those people were someone’s friend, someone’s son, someone’s father. It is sad when you actually humanize a terrorist, not saying that people who are willing to kill thousands deserve to be looked at with sympathy.