Muntasir, founder and chief executive of Jimas, said it was time for people who supported Islamic extremism to ask why their sons and daughters were being blown up for false ideals in “unwinnable wars”. Hate, he said, is not what Islam or the prophet taught.
“It was a virus with which we infected a generation. Now it has proliferated,” said one of Muntasir’s former followers, Alyas Karmani, now a peace campaigner, youth worker and imam in Bradford. He said the psychology used by Isis to groom youngsters is similar to that which Muntasir used to bring in followers.
“He was a charismatic father figure. It was exciting and there was an energy. I was an activist, never an extremist. For me I always had an inner voice telling me that a lot of this is not right.
“But I was angry. I had a very violent dad. I had a lot of racism. I was angry and frustrated. So we planted this virus. And the kids today have caught it...I agree that the "virus" is contagious, but it is born of/borne by supremacist doctrines embedded in Islam's core holy books. That gives the "extremism" a textual heft that, as we know, is exceptionally difficult to override.