The role of a revolutionary from within is never an easy one but for Hakim El Karoui that is exactly the challenge he has set himself as he seeks to change the place for Islam in French life.
The banker turned author can remember precisely when he realised that he could no longer remain on the sidelines as divisions rose within France. In the early days of 2015, the first of what would be a series of deadly attacks that rocked all France targeted the newspaper Charlie Hebdo and then a supermarket in Paris.
“I asked myself, can people like me do nothing?” he recalled to The National. “The answer to the question is obvious: no. I have been involved in the political debate for the past 15 years. I wrote several books on political and economic subjects and I decided that Islam was going to remain a private matter. But after the attacks I told myself that this was not going to be possible anymore.”