In the summer of 2001 Maajid Nawaz traveled to Jerusalem for the first time to visit the Al Aqsa mosque. He journeyed via Jordan, so desperate was he not to set foot in what he considered "Israel proper."
"I pretty much would describe my views as typically anti-Semitic and typically anti-Israel," he recalls. "I denied the legitimacy of the State of Israel and believed that it had no right to exist and that the caliphate would one day come to... liberate the land and return it to Muslim dominion."
Still only in his early 20s, Nawaz, the child of a middle-class British home, was a university student and rising star activist in Hizb ut-Tahrir, a revolutionary Islamist organization founded in Jerusalem in 1953.