Did Jehovah’s Witness shunning drive young Brit towards Islamic extremist radicalization?

Brusthom Ziamani was radicalized weeks after being ejected from home by his JW parents
Brusthom Ziamani was radicalized weeks after being ejected from home by his JW parents

UK newspapers are reporting that a young British man, who has been found guilty of plotting to behead a soldier, was radicalized into Islamic extremism after being kicked out of his home by his Jehovah’s Witness parents.

Brusthom Ziamani, from Camberwell in South London, was raised by Congolese parents. His mother is a nursery nurse, and his father a psychiatric nurse. In his hearing at the Old Bailey it emerged that the 19-year-old had a “strict religious upbringing” against which he rebelled, getting involved in boxing, parkour and rap music. He also began stealing credit cards and went to a “play house” to have sex with prostitutes.

But Ziamani claims it was his love of rap music that drew him towards Islam. He converted in the Spring of 2014 and would hide his Islamic robes from his father when he went home. But after his father found images of people in Islamic clothing on his phone he was confronted, at which point his father is alleged to have thrown a bible at him.

Given an ultimatum to either stay and abide by the family’s rules or leave home in pursuit of his newfound faith, Ziamani chose the latter option. He thereafter found himself sleeping at a flat that served as a focal point for members of the banned group Al-Muhajiroun who were followers of Anjem Choudary – a hate cleric.

Things quickly escalated from there, and Ziamani was radicalized into extremist ideology within weeks. He came to idolize the killers of Drummer Lee Rigby, a British soldier who was beheaded in a gruesome attack on the streets of London in May 2013. He was stopped while on his way to carry out a similar atrocity after he showed his weapons to his ex-girlfriend and told her of his plans.

Few people are aware that shunning of people who leave the faith is an intrinsic element of life as a Jehovah’s Witness – even if the “apostate” happens to be a member of your own family. Witness parents are repeatedly coerced in Watchtower literature to believe that casting out their wayward children is a loving form of discipline. But in this case, it would seem that the severing of family bonds through shunning has had an unintended and devastating consequence – that of sending an impressionable young man into the arms of extremists.










Further reading…

55 thoughts on “Did Jehovah’s Witness shunning drive young Brit towards Islamic extremist radicalization?

  • February 21, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    Jehovah yea he them to kill!!! Read 1 Samuel 15:1-3!!!

  • February 21, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    Sorry I wanted to say “Jehovah teaches them to kill!!! Read 1 Samuel 15:1-3!!!

  • February 21, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    @Excelsior. Brilliant!

  • February 22, 2015 at 6:43 am

    Just a thought. Are there parallels in inslam versus the JW faith that makes it attractive to switch? I’m reminded of a psychiatrist quote to a patient, “of all the things you could of said, why did you say that?” Why islam and not any other religion? Muslims love to tout it’s the fastest growing religion, male dominate, only true religion & islam is the only complete way of living(including & don’t laugh, toilet etiquette*). And the biggie, death is better than life. Are these all attractive selling points? My thoughts here is are JWs becoming soft stealth targets for islamic conversation, particularly in the UK as islam creeps through society or is this case truly an isolated one?

    * http://www.myreligionislam.com/detail.asp?Aid=6096



  • February 22, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    Katie Kitten (Stand Up for Jehovah) in her latest video talked about this young boy and she said it was in the newspapers that he was disfellowshipped and his parents kicked him out of the house at 16 and he was homeless when this group took him in and then they radicalized him. So, kicking him out on the streets at the age of 16 sure didn’t help the situation with him.

  • February 23, 2015 at 9:38 am

    An excellent article. I suspect this is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to seeing the pain of shunning. Paul Grundy makes the following point. “For every 100 Jehovah’s Witnesses more than one is disfellowshipped each year; over 70,000.Two out of every three are never reinstated. Being disfellowshipped can result in serious emotional side affects because:
    those that continue to believe Watchtower doctrine are told that whilst disfellowshipped they are condemned to everlasting destruction.
    those who become unbelievers, with no intention of returning to the Watchtower Society, realise they are unlikely to freely associate with Witness family and friends for the remainder of their lives.”

  • February 26, 2015 at 3:29 am

    This boy was kicked out of his home when he was only 16 years old and he had never even been baptized.

    I am going to quote from the July 15, 1963 Watchtower page 445 concerning minor children who have been baptized:

    “The Christian head of the house, the father, is therefore required to continue the physical association with, and to provide food, shelter and clothing for those in his household who are disfellowshiped. If the disfellowshiped one is a minor child, the parents cannot disassociate themselves from him. He is still part of the household. God’s laws require that the parental responsibility be carried out. Even Caesar’s laws require that minor children be provided for by the parents. So the parents are still under command from God to correct and discipline the child. This must be done by using Biblical principles.”

    The religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses was humane in the treatment of children in the 1960’s. They at least followed Caesar’s laws in not kicking out a minor child onto the streets because the child was going through a time of trouble in his life. They were encouraged to look after their children and help them but all that has changed. If a child is going through a rough time in their life now, parents are to throw out their minor child into the streets and think of them as having been killed by Jehovah and not to have any feeling for them anymore.

    This religion has been hijacked by Apostate thinking and in no way resembles the religion that Christ started in the first century. What it does resemble is what Jesus warned about at Matthew 7:15 “Be on the watch for the false prophets that come to you in sheep’s covering, but inside they are ravenous wolves.”

  • February 26, 2015 at 10:55 am

    I absolutely adore Excelsior’s comments!

  • February 28, 2015 at 10:52 pm

    When I was DF’d the first time, it was a total devastation. Within a year…. I was smoking crack cocaine. It was a mind ****. So speaking from experience, this should be no surprise as someone who is already psychologically compromised, and is left with no support system can be susceptible to those who would welcome him in.

    • March 12, 2015 at 8:41 pm

      I agree! I have seen many teens and young ones in my locale congregation when I attend. Parents would kick their kids out of the house when they didn’t want to attend meetings. Teens ran away from home simply because they didn’t want to attend meetings and couldn’t talk to their parents about it. Parents put their children down and blame their children for the troubles. It is so ridiculous! I saw LOTS of unhappy JW’s because they no longer believe but feel trapped inside an organization that completely controls them. It is so sad.

  • March 3, 2015 at 9:50 pm

    Notice how the watchtower never attacks Muslims and Islam as they have and continue to do against Christendom. Just imagine if the Watchtower published artwork and articles against Islam and muslims in the same way they have against Christendom over the years.Obviously the Governing Body of JWs is “playing it safe”. They don’t want a fatwa on their heads.

Comments are closed.