Husain's family hails from Sylhet in Bangladesh; after failing his GCSEs he drifted between Islamic groups achieving nothing noteworthy. His claim to fame is his time with Hizb ut-Tahrir chronicled in his book "The Islamist". His critics see his narratives as no different to those of the infamous Hasan Butt - full of inconsistencies and factual inaccuracies.
A friend reminisces,
"I knew mehboob when he was busy radicalising Newham college and the whole of East London. It was as much as you could do to get him to hand out a flyer on a cold day. The most radical thing about him was his odd socks. The accounts he gives are pure fiction."
Neo-conservatives Nick Cohen, Melanie Phillips, Michael Gove and David Aaronovitch provided rave reviews whilst Taji Mustafa, Andrew Booso, Azam Tamimi and Yahya Birt were more critical with Ziauddin Sardar questioning whether the book was penned by Whitehall.
Husain argued he was a member of Hizb ut-Tahrir and left due to his contribution to the atmosphere surrounding the murder of a student at Newham College. The reality however related to his sexual indiscretions, unacceptable in Muslim circles, strangely confirmed in his book where he writes he was in the library with his "girlfriend" when a student was murdered. Hizb ut-Tahrir categorically denied he had ever been a member and the trial Judge's report concluded the Newham College murder had in fact resulted from an argument over a table tennis game. Husain's version subsequently mutated to, "Their understanding of membership is idiosyncratic and involves swearing cultish oaths to Arab control-freaks" - referring to the Islamic oath process that transforms novices to official party members, ensuring conformity and obedience from members to the Amir, as is traditionally obliged in Islamic law.
From one extreme to another appears to be Husain's journey. He was co-director of the infamous Quilliam Foundation, with Majid Nawaz and Rashad Ali following in his wake. His critics cite numerous unusual and extreme views.
- Regarding politicised Muslims he says, "Call them jihadists, Islamists, but I wouldn't call them Muslim. Being Muslim is not enough for them. They make politics seems religious..."
- His hatred drove him to inform the Syrian secret service of Hizb ut-Tahrir members he encountered in Damascus and has called for them to be banned in the UK. The al-Assads and their fellow elites hail from the Alawite sect, an offshoot considered to be apostates. Alawite rule in Syria is secular, dictatorial and the government has a historic fear of an uprising by the majority Sunnis - massacring its own population during the 1980s.
- His sentiments against Muslim activists and Palestinians are also similar to this regime - when Syria first invaded Lebanon in 1975, it was against the Palestinians and in support of Lebanese Christians.
- Husain supports the invasion of Iraq to overthrow Saddam, compares Hamas to the BNP, describes the Arab "psyche" as irredeemably racist, cites Gandhi as his hero,
- He criticises the director of MI5 for "pussyfooting around" with extremists, pours cold dismisses western policy in the Muslim world contributes to terror attacks in Britain,
- Husain believes penal shari'a punishments to be barbaric, inhumane and outdated, dismisses the idea of Islamophobia and declares there to be too many immigrants in the country.
Critics argue Husain was never known in any of Britain's Mosques, Muslim charities or youth organisations, never gave a Friday sermon nor was he invited by any of Britain's Muslim youth.
Whatever else, Husain is hardly a voice of moderation or reason.