Abdul Haqq Baker

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Abdul Haqq Baker
Anthony Baker

EducationMBA in Education
PhD in Politics
Alma materUniversity of Exeter
Occupation(s)Academic and Religious Leader
Known forDe-radicalizing Muslim Extremists

Abdul Haqq Baker (born 1966) is an academic and religious leader. He supports the Salafi branch of Islam that is popular in the Persian Gulf.[1][2] He is known for his work de-radicalizing young Muslims influenced by extremist groups like al-Qaeda.[1][3]

Early life and education[edit]

Baker was born in 1966.[1] His mother and father are from Guyana and Nigeria respectively.[4][5] Baker was raised Roman Catholic and attended a Christian school, where he first became interested in religion.[6]

In his youth, Baker got involved in local gangs, until he converted from Christianity to Islam in 1990.[1] Baker's given name was Anthony Baker, but he adopted his current Muslim name after converting.[4][5] Specifically, Baker joined the Salafi movement,[4] a fundamentalist branch of Sunni Islam.[2] Baker later earned a Master's degree in Business Administration and a PhD in Political Studies from the University of Exeter.[1][7]


Baker worked as a lawyer for ten years,[7] before becoming the Chairman of The Brixton Mosque and Islamic Cultural Centre in 1994,[8] a position he held for 15 years.[2][5] While there, he persuaded radical Abdullah el-Faisal and his followers to leave the mosque after an armed standoff.[1] In 2007, Baker created a controversial initiative called Strategy to Reach, Empower and Educate Teenagers (STREET).[4]

Most of STREET's activities were typical of anti-gang youth initiatives,[2] but its de-radicalization program was unusual.[2][4] It was praised by experts and security professionals for its effectiveness,[4][5] but criticized by more liberal religious groups and Western countries for supporting the same literal interpretation of the Quran that radicalizes many terrorists.[2][4][5] Baker argued it was these very shared religious beliefs STREET had with at-risk Muslim youth that made it approachable.[4]

The British government cut funding of 300,000 pounds per annum to STREET in May 2010 after an election caused a change in political leadership.[2][5] Baker had resigned as Chairman of Brixton, but remained a trustee, in order to focus on the STREET program.[5]

According to his website, Baker now does research, lectures, and public speaking events on violence among religious extremists.[7] Baker developed the "Convert's Cognitive Development Framework," which describes the stages of a Muslim's conversion to and from violent radicalism. It has four stages: (1) Founding Phase [Conversion] (2) Youthful Phase [Formative] (3) Adult Phase [Foundational] (4) Mature Phase [Reflective].[9] Baker encourages institutions to move criminals and radicals to the self-reflective stage, whereby the citizen reflects on the world based on their own personal experiences, rather than emotions and propaganda.[9][10]


  • Baker, Abdul (2011). Extremists in our midst : confronting terror. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire, UK New York: Palgrave Macmillan. OCLC 758435166.


  1. ^ a b c d e f Petrou, Michael (September 25, 2008). "On the front lines of God's war". Macleans.ca. Retrieved February 13, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Rosenberg, Tina (April 30, 2014). "Harnessing Positive Peer Pressure to Create Atruism". Social Research: An International Quarterly. 80 (2): 491–510. doi:10.1353/sor.2013.0019. ISSN 1944-768X. S2CID 142309820. Retrieved February 12, 2020.
  3. ^ Rosenberg, Tina (2011). Join the Club: How Peer Pressure Can Transform the World. W. W. Norton & Company. pp. 308–312. one of the most effective and important voices for preventing young men from falling into terrorism
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Rosenberg, Tina (February 21, 2011). "Going to Extremes". Foreign Policy. Retrieved February 12, 2020.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Rosenberg, T. (2011). Join the Club: How Peer Pressure Can Transform the World. Icon Books Limited. p. 198. ISBN 978-1-84831-336-1. Retrieved February 12, 2020.
  6. ^ Baker, Abdul Haqq (August 19, 2013). "Islam's ability to empower is a magnet to black British youths". The Guardian. Retrieved February 13, 2020.
  7. ^ a b c "Dr. A H Baker Official Website". Dr. A H Baker. Retrieved February 13, 2020.
  8. ^ Inge, Anabel (2017). The Making of a Salafi Muslim Woman. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-061167-5. Retrieved March 29, 2020.
  9. ^ a b "Framework, Theories, and Engagement - Applied to Incarcerated Muslims (with slides)". The T.A.M. Group. January 30, 2019.
  10. ^ "Combating Violent Extremism, Part 3". C-SPAN.org. August 7, 2017. Retrieved March 30, 2020.

External links[edit]