Tag Archives: Maajid Nawaz

Maajid Nawaz an “Anti-Muslim Extremist” according to Southern Poverty Law Center 


The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) lists Maajid Nawaz as an anti-Muslim extremist. Though if you read the extreme right they accuse Maajid Nawaz of being a jihadist, such as:

Despite his outward facade of secularism and liberalism, Nawaz is in fact a deeply devout Sunni Muslim supremacist, operating far behind enemy lines in the Dar al-Harb, the House of War

We expect that sort of nonsense from The Gates of Vienna Blog, as quoted above. What though of the Southern Poverty Law Center? Perhaps we should look at just a few of the points in what they say about Maajid Nawaz.

Secret list given to government accusing people and groups of sharing an ideology with terrorists 

As The Quilliam Foundation responded to the accusation in The Guardian:

This accusation repeated here by the Guardian is simply false. There was no ‘Terror List’. We produced a briefing document entitled ‘Preventing Terrorism: where next for Britain?’, that we sent to all government departments and not just the OSCT. This document set out reforms we felt were necessary to the Government’s counter-terrorism strategy. The Government’s strategy was eventually reformed almost exactly as we had advised. The document was sent in private so as to not play out the debate about reforming the Government’s counter-extremism strategy in the press. However, the copy we sent to the OSCT was eventually leaked by a civil servant.


Maajid Nawaz wants to criminalise the veil/niqab in many public spaces

In a great piece of quote mining, they neglect to mention that Maajid Nawaz does not call for criminalising as they  claim. In the Daily Mail article they quote from, Nawaz mentions:

Here’s my test: where a balaclava, motorcycle helmet or face mask would be deemed inappropriate, so should a niqab. It’s simple really.

It is simple, unless you want to make someone out to be an extremist against Muslims. 

Long term readers of this blog may recall Mohammed Shafiq tried to accuse Maajid Nawaz of criminalising the veil. At the time I called this a dangerous game of accusing people, that may be more liberal than yourself, of things which fundamentalists are prepared to kill you for. 

“Nawaz tweeted out a cartoon of Jesus and Muhammad — despite the fact that many Muslims see it as blasphemous to draw Muhammad.”

Being “blasphemous” makes you an extremist it seems. The Southern Poverty Law Centre is devoid of context that Maajid Nawaz said he did not find a cartoon picture of Mohammed and Jesus saying hello together to be blasphemous or a challenge to his faith. Two students at a London School of Economics student freshers fayre were ejected for wearing them to advertise their Atheist Humanist Secular society, and this was discussed on a BBC show. Hence [the] Maajid Nawaz tweet. 

A reminder that this led to death threats for Maajid Nawaz. No mention of that by the SPLC. 

More on this can be read in my Huff Post article. 

Nawaz went to a strip club for his stag do

Let us recap. You are an extremist if you give evidence to government departments, if you share a cartoon of a prophet saying “How Ya doin'” and if you go to a strip club on your stag  do, according to the Southern Poverty Law Centre.

Is this meant to be a joke? Problem is this is no laughing  matter – where muslim activists challenge fundamentalism and extremism that tries to impose a religious Islamic orthodoxy, this is not just dangerous. It is reprehensible.

There is no fact checking, or counter view. This is a hatchet job. The sort to defame and have circulated by people who cannot be bothered to check the context for themselves.

Regarding the intro to Maajid Nawaz, yes the government gave seeding money to help the Quilliam Foundation get set up – an issue was how quickly that should end. Not everyone has $300 million in funds to keep their civic action going in the future as the SPLC has. It should also be noted Quilliam has not received ongoing taxpayer money for a number of years.

Maajid Nawaz began leaving Islamism during his incarceration in Egypt. He was not the finished liberal secular product when he came back to the UK. He has mentioned that, and how in a short time after being released he realised he had to make a clean break from his former politics and religious affiliations, in his book Radical.

There had been hopes Tommy Robinson might go on a similar journey when he left the English Defence League. That has not happened, but that is for Tommy Robinson to answer. He had the opportunity, he did not take it.

None of what the Southern Poverty Law Centre has said points to Maajid Nawaz being an extremist. Let alone anti-Muslim. The bar set by this report will make any liberal activism by Muslims as being against all Muslims. 

If you are the “wrong” sort of muslim you are to be branded an extremist. You will be declared a blasphemer. This is irresponsible, and dangerous. It also shows why The Quilliam Foundation and the work Maajid Nawaz does is necessary. 

We expect the fundamentalists and extremists to declare people blasphemous or to be traitors of the faith. For others to act as their willing mouthpiece brings shame to the Southern Poverty Law Centre. 

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Maajid Nawaz: My Fellow Muslims, I Am Not Your Enemy

Maajid Nawaz in a Facebook post answers critics claims that he has not stood up for Muslims. As he states “I am not your enemy. I am not your representative. I am not your religious role-model. But I am still from you, and I am of you. I have suffered all that you suffer. And I refuse to abandon you.”

My fellow Muslims, I am not your enemy. Since co-founding Quilliam I have:

1) Opposed UK gov ministers on ethnic & religious profiling http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-wgBFoS-Gs

2) Opposed Obama’s targeted killings & drone strikes http://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/oct/01/drone-killing-anwar-al-awlaki

3) Opposed Senator King in the UK Parliament on his obfuscation & justification of torture http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1cU8ZzIPkc

4) I have been cited by the UK PM for my view that though Islamist extremism must be openly challenged, non-violent Islamist should not be banned http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200708/cmhansrd/cm071114/debtext/71114-0005.htm

5) I have spoken out against extraordinary rendition of terror suspects https://www.facebook.com/MaajidNawazFanPage/posts/124062524393106

6) And against detention without charge of terror suspects http://www.quilliamfoundation.org/events/2009/maajid-nawaz-moderates-discussion-on-violent-extremism-in-europe/

7) I have supported an entire political party backing a call to end schedule 7 that deprives terror suspects of the right to silence at UK ports of entry & exit http://www.quilliamfoundation.org/in-the-media/maajid-nawaz-speaks-out-against-schedule-7-terror-laws-at-liberal-democrats-conference/ among much else.

Please understand, it is due to this very same concern for human rights that I vehemently oppose Islamist extremism and call for liberal reform within our communities, for our communities. I am not your enemy. I am not your representative. I am not your religious role-model. But I am still from you, and I am of you. I have suffered all that you suffer. And I refuse to abandon you.

Maajid Nawaz has had a discussion with Sam “Islam is the Mother lode of bad ideas” Harris, which will be released as a book at the beginning of October. That has brought its own criticism, given some of Harris’ controversial sounding positions (my essay on them can be read here). Debate is something worthwhile for its own sake, as Tom Holland mentions regarding the book.

Sam Harris has said in an interview:

“Tolerance, openness to argument, openness to self-doubt, willingness to see other people’s points of view – these are very liberal and enlightened values that people are right to hold, but we can’t allow them to delude us to the point where we can’t recognise people who are needlessly perpetrating human misery.”

I look forward to reading.

Maajid Nawaz wrote the Facebook post as a direct appeal to his son:

Ideas can move heaven and hell, let alone rip families apart.

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Maajid Nawaz Issues Statement On Daily Mail Strip Club Allegations

What follows is Maajid Nawaz’s statement issued within the hour (taken from here):

‘A planned and sustained attack campaign against reform-minded Muslims. My reply to recent allegations.

“It doesn’t matter if you are in the right. It doesn’t matter if lots of ‘ordinary people’ do the same. In times such as these, the public wants a hero. They do not want an ‘ordinary’ person”. These words were uttered to me by my ever wise wife Rachel, after footage of my stag night in London was vindictively leaked to the press. 

In writing this statement I had to think long and hard about whether to come out guns blazing in robust defence of my perfectly legal private actions, of which Rachel had full knowledge, or whether to focus on what I could learn from this episode. Should I wax lyrical about the evident set-up sprung upon me by a bitter club owner who felt perfectly comfortable being a Muslim himself, and owing a strip club, yet felt religiously affronted that I – another Muslim – should be taken to his establishment by my best man to celebrate during my last few months of bachelorhood? Should I focus on that Daily Mail headline: “Married”? It was a stag night. I was obviously not yet married. But no, Rachel’s wise words and grace in the face of such a public violation of our privacy continued to play on my conscience: “people will be people, Maajid. You must be better”. 

Indeed. So here I will deign to present a brief explanation of some salient points, and then seek to offer some contrition, because Rachel has been dragged into this mess through no fault of her own, yet has handled it with more grace than I would have were I her. 

I have already mentioned that this was a stag night before my marriage. However, even if it were after my marriage, Rachel had already known about it. As a liberal, what consenting adults do in private – whether in or out of wedlock – is not for me to judge. In current times, our moral uproar is best reserved for those who aspire to stone men or women to death, not those who consensually watch women, or men for that matter, dance. In fact, please be prepared to see me again around London sometime, you may even catch me dancing. As long as Rachel is happy, I will not suddenly stop going out. And if you see me, do come over and say hello.

A main question that arises here is the question of hypocrisy. Of my being a Muslim, and a self-described feminist. On being a Muslim, I have lost count of the number of times I have stated that I am a “non-devout” Muslim, including in the Mail newspaper itself (www.dailymail.co.uk/…/Maajid-Nawaz-Why-I-Muslim-believe-vei…). I certainly do not claim to be a religious role model. My work through Quilliam in challenging extremism and promoting human rights is political and social work. I do not proscribe “good” religion. I never describe myself as a representative of Muslims in media, and speak as a liberal, who happens to be a non-devout Muslim, with a unique experience and insight into Islamist extremism. Therefore, my fellow Muslims, I am genuinely sorry that my being in a strip club during a stag night offended you, but I never claimed to represent our religion. 

Objections to my describing myself as a feminist might seem at first sight to have more merit. Some feminists take the view that visiting such gentlemen’s clubs objectifies women. Others, many women too, take a more sex-positive view, and believe that erotic dancing is empowering to women. My feminism, as intended by me, extends to empowering women to make legal choices, not to judge the legal choices they make. My fight is for rights. The right of men or women who choose to cover their heads, or their right to uncover their bodies. As long as both are by choice, I will defend people’s right to do either. Others may have their own view, but that is the extent of my feminism. And again, therefore, there is no hypocrisy in me visiting a strip club for a stag night. 

This leads to another allegation made in the article by the staff: and it is important that our language remains precise when repeating these: ‘pestering’, and ‘repeated attempts’ to touch the dancer. It has not been suggested that the dancer herself has levied these allegations. In fact, it was the club’s staff, who have already made their political views known in the piece. I wonder, does the club have a “no Muslims we disagree with” policy, only approving conservative Muslim customers? 

Let us remember that this was an incident that took place 10 months ago at “Charlie’s Angels” in Aldgate (https://www.google.co.uk/…/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x487603…), and the CCTV footage was unscrupulously leaked just weeks before a General Election. 

Look at the video. Contrary to the the Mail’s claims in writing you can see that I was tame and compliant to the dancer’s instructions in the footage. I refute any suggestion therefore of ‘pestering’ and can confirm that I was certainly not issued a warning at any time by the club. It is widely known that in establishments such as these the slightest infraction will render the misbehaving visitor out on the street within seconds. Yet, I left unhindered and on my own accord. 

So what could possibly explain all this? Followers of my counter-extremism work will be aware that for years liberal Muslim voices like mine have been subjected to sustained personal attack. Organised incitement (hurryupharry.org/…/more-horrifying-death-threats-against-m…/), death threats (www.telegraph.co.uk/…/Lib-Dem-candidate-receives-death-thre…) and even physical assault (http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/…/world_n…/article176412.ece) are frequent occurrences. The article mentions my son from a previous marriage, the truth is I have been denied contact with him for three years now for very similar reasons. Challenging the Muslim status quo today is mercilessly punishing business. 

There is no doubt in my mind that this breach of my privacy was part of a pre-planned regressive-Muslim campaign (https://storify.com/Andrew_Nolan/maajid-nawaz-hatchet-job). My wife Rachel had in fact been receiving scary unsolicited emails very soon after my stag night last July from this strip club’s staff member. This staff member calls himself “Shah Free Gaza Jahan” on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/jahan79). He began planning this sting last year, immediately after my wedding, in collusion (https://www.facebook.com/jahan79) with a smear site called Mushy Peas. This site had already published (mushypeas.org/maajid-nawaz-wife/) photos of Rachel’s home, family profiles and private email address inviting people to harass her. To quote “Shah Free Gaza Jahan” from as far back as last October 2014 from the screen grab (https://plus.google.com/…/11546…/albums/6137636038894699329…) of that smear site on his motives: 

“I have a very interesting story regarding this fraud. Who can I contact to get his out? I was reluctant to let this out as we should cover another Muslims sins. But he’s an atheist (sic) now. So we good”. 

After explaining that atheists seem to be fair game for him (for the record I am a Muslim), Shah Jahan was promptly redirected by a known caliphate supporting Islamist Dilly Hussain (hurryupharry.org/…/bullying-women-is-not-one-of-the-5-pill…/) to make contact via his infamous regressive 5Pillarz blog. This is all there in that screen grab for all to see. And thus last October, the plot was hatched. 


  


This is how a politically conservative newspaper unwittingly cooperated with religiously regressive Muslims, to discredit my politically and religiously liberal voice. 

It is no surprise to me that this latest episode of my dehumanisation culminated yesterday in yet another call from Scotland Yard’s counter-terrorism branch, who warned of new specific ISIS calls for my death after this latest smear campaign went viral. Yesterday evening and for the first time, counter-terrorism police ordered the installation of a direct panic alarm in my home from fear of a terrorist attack. 

I humbly advise journalists, therefore, who are in touch with Islamist smear merchants to maintain a healthy skepticism around the credibility of those coming to them as sources against reform-minded Muslims.

This brings me finally to what I wish to express contrition for. I am indeed sorry for many things. I am sorry that though I have every right to behave as I like within the law, many will have seen that footage and wished that I had chosen not to go. I am sorry to Rachel, my son, and my family. Though Rachel knew that I had gone, this has thrust her and others into the spotlight unnecessarily. I am sorry to my Liberal Democrat colleagues, for distracting them from important campaign work due to a decision made in the moment. I am sorry to those who respect the counter-extremism work that I do, for placing them in a position of having to defend my rights, rather than praise my choices. And I am sorry to my fellow Muslims, because though I never claim to speak on their behalf, their widespread offence indicates that perhaps they wish I was a better role model for them. For all of you, I will try harder to live better, not just remain within my rights, but to do what is right. Rachel was correct, in times such as these, people need more than just ‘ordinary’.


Maajid Nawaz

‪#‎Solidarity‬

(Background to the story can be read here)

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Awaiting Maajid Nawaz Statement On Being Yesterday “Daily Mail Hatchet Jobbed”

Maajid Nawaz went to a strip club for his stag do – this has been reported in The Daily Mail along with an allegation of harassment. My initial thoughts and analysis of the piece should be read here where the rest of this article follows on as an afterword. If you have already read that post, keep reading.

On twitter I have been aghast by comments to me that strippers need to expect groping, that harassing someone for their number is hardly a serious matter, that as part of their sexual allure this is natural. No it is never ok to harass or grope or assault a women whatever her job, whatever she is wearing.

Belittling a woman because she is a stripper does not help Maajid Nawaz. Rather, you are not standing up for women’s rights. As to feminism and stripping, where adults are consenting regarding a sensual or sexual activity freedom exists. Where coercion, pressure or force is applied in no sense can consent exist. A debate about whether patriarchal cultural attitudes deny that freedom is something I invite others to research and think about.

Since I published my article an edited CCTV time lapsed video has gone on youtube. Regardless of whether you believe it shows harassment, someone just having a lap dance, or is inconclusive, I do not see how Maajid Nawaz politically comes back from the public humiliation. “They’ve got art” as the saying goes, and by saying his behaviour was out of order allowed such images to appear in the public domain. In short, it seems an attempt to show up someone publicly who, perhaps naively, felt their privacy was protected by having a private lap dance.

The accusation of harassment may or may not be true. We can cast dispersions as to motive, though suggesting a strip club owner and manager must be automatically untrustworthy seems ad hominem. Rather, they do appear an unlikely duo to stand up for religious probity. However, the manager claims to have witnessed unacceptable behaviour which he felt went against the public persona (as he saw it) presented by Maajid Nawaz.

Whatever Nawaz’s behaviour was, at no point was he thrown out or the police called. So the accusations do come across as a smear campaign timed for the General Election. What we know for certain is that Maajid Nawaz went to a strip club while a parliamentary candidate. With the kind of opponents he has, this becoming public knowledge should have been seen as very likely.

Public humiliation though is not what anyone deserves for being a parliamentary candidate, even if you do something politically stupid as going to a strip club.

Maajid Nawaz has said on twitter today “Yesterday the Daily Mail article hatchet-jobbed me”, and has promised a statement “soon.” I will link to that in a new blog post when it hits the internet. To be honest we needed the statement Saturday considering Friday night the story broke.

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Maajid Nawaz Stag Party At A Strip Club

When you look through still CCTV footage of a candidate for parliament, to see if he is inappropriately touching a stripper while he is on his stag night, we can safely say that the sausage roll voter “bribery” case, Ed Miliband’s dating chit chat on economics, and political slogans on mugs have been eclipsed in the election campaign. We now have close to a sex scandal. The Liberal Democrats. What were the chances?

That this involves Maajid Nawaz has taken me by surprise. The revelations about his behaviour were made in The Daily Mail.

Nawaz has openly said he is a “non devout Muslim” and on Newsnight he made very clear that there are no spokespeople for the muslim community, rather many voices looking to be heard. The problem is how devout a feminist when your spokesperson is reported as saying Nawaz’s “reputation for advocating women’s rights was ‘in the context of Islamic extremism’.” Feminism only an issue when Islam is involved? [1] That really needs clarifying. Seeing strippers during Ramadan, or drinking booze? Between Nawaz and his God.

The stag do was last June; of course this story has waited till now for maximum impact during the General Election. For cynicism that this is a smear hatchet job, there are legitimate concerns. The allegation that Maajid Nawaz was physically and verbally harassing a stripper for her phone number while bragging about himself falls well short of conduct befitting a member of parliament. Or not being a sleazeball while your fiancee waits at home for your return. Nawaz is mentioned in the article as denying touching inappropriately or ever being warned repeatedly about his behaviour.

Who on earth cannot work out the political ramifications of a lap dance while standing as an MP (never mind the logistics of a lap dance while standing)? It suggests at a personal level a reckless abandon. Many hours and money have gone into supporting his candidacy in a very close three horse marginal seat. Usually, you do not risk undermining those efforts if you feel a responsibility to your supporters.

Stag nights and strip clubs are very much connected. In a piece this month, novelist Nicki Salcedo wrote about the shock of two men when she interjected their conversation to give directions one of them needed to a strip club. Writing about her previous experiences at a strip club, and attending a bachelorette party with stripping men, she concludes:

That burly guy was embarrassed to get directions to the strip club from a soccer mom. That’s the real shame. If you are going to go to the strip club, go. Go proud. The fact that he was embarrassed suggests that even he thinks it’s a bit wrong. Those are his issues, not mine.

I don’t worry about it. What a strange funny world. I know how to get to the strip club and other places, too. On a good day, I can give you directions to anywhere you want to go.

Maybe as a feminist in the context of Islamic extremism, Maajid Nawaz saw no political issues going to a strip club then asking female voters for their support. Perhaps, far from thinking that he was above such potential political controversy, he thought he could have a stag do as any law abiding citizen may. Maybe we should live in a world where what adults choose to do together really is none of our business. Such is the dilemma for political and private life.

The electorate of Hampstead and Kilburn will have less than four weeks in which to see how this story evolves and how to use in making a judgment when voting. In a constituency where in 2010 the Liberal Democrats came third, 841 votes behind elected Glenda Jackson MP for Labour. 841 votes.

That is why going to the stripclub was not a good idea if he intended to win the seat. That no one thought – you know if the Daily Mail gets hold of this your campaign will be sunk – suggests either foolish thinking, lack of judgment or irresponsibility to those campaigning for you.

The bottom line is the allegation of harassing women. The Liberal Democrats have not inspired much confidence in this area when investigating. I sense panic at party HQ that a seat they hoped might be in play may well have been lost at the upcoming poll, and how this may play out nationally.

As we await further announcements, I hope the accusations made by the manager and owner of the strip club turn out to be tabloid sensationalism. Even so, I fear that may not undo the damage to the campaign.

Update Sunday 12 April:

[1] Even though my “how devout a feminist” refers to the spokespersons comments about women’s rights in the context of Islamic extremism – what about beyond that context (Daily Mail I suspect rather than spokesperson to blame but needs clarifying I feel), people are interpreting as me saying you cannot be a devout feminist going to a strip club. Which is not what I am saying here.

Afterword

On twitter I have been aghast by comments to me that strippers need to expect groping, that harassing someone for their number is hardly a serious matter, that as part of their sexual allure this is natural. No it is never ok to harass or grope or assault a women whatever her job, whatever she is wearing.

Belittling a woman because she is a stripper does not help Maajid Nawaz. Rather, you are not standing up for women’s rights. As to feminism and stripping, where adults are consenting regarding a sensual or sexual activity freedom exists. Where coercion, pressure or force is applied in no sense can consent exist. A debate about whether patriarchal cultural attitudes deny that freedom is something I invite others to research and think about.

Since I published my article an edited CCTV time lapsed video has gone on youtube. Regardless of whether you believe it shows harassment, someone just having a lap dance, or is inconclusive, I do not see how Maajid Nawaz politically comes back from the public humiliation. “They’ve got art” as the saying goes, and by saying his behaviour was out of order allowed such images to appear in the public domain. In short, it seems an attempt to show up someone publicly who, perhaps naively, felt their privacy was protected by having a private lap dance.

The accusation of harassment may or may not be true. We can cast dispersions as to motive, though suggesting a strip club owner and manager must be automatically untrustworthy seems ad hominem. Rather, they do appear an unlikely duo to stand up for religious probity. However, the manager claims to have witnessed unacceptable behaviour which he felt went against the public persona (as he saw it) presented by Maajid Nawaz.

Whatever Nawaz’s behaviour was, at no point was he thrown out or the police called. So the accusations do come across as a smear campaign timed for the General Election. What we know for certain is that Maajid Nawaz went to a strip club while a parliamentary candidate. With the kind of opponents he has, this becoming public knowledge should have been seen as very likely.

Public humiliation though is not what anyone deserves for being a parliamentary candidate, even if you do something politically stupid as going to a strip club.

Maajid Nawaz has said on twitter today “Yesterday the Daily Mail article hatchet-jobbed me”, and has promised a statement “soon.” I will link to that in a new blog post when it hits the internet. To be honest we needed the statement Saturday considering Friday night the story broke.

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Mo Shafiq Apologises, For Incitement, To Maajid Nawaz Over Prophet Mohammed Cartoon

 


 

Finally, after over a year of berating by many of us on social media and blogging, Mo Shafiq has apologised for his conduct when Maajid Nawaz tweeted a Jesus and Mo cartoon of the prophet saying “How Ya Doin’?

To recap:

 

 
 



As I explained at the time in January 2014:

Mo Shafiq of the Ramadan Foundation tweeted that he would ensure the Islamic world would know what Nawaz had done though he stressed he did not want him killed, but meant he wanted to reduce funding for an anti-extremist think tank in the Islamic world. He also used the expression “Ghustaki Rasool these Quilliam people” which means “defamer of the prophet.” Ghustaki Rasool is a crime in Pakistan, where Nawaz has family and travels to, carrying the death penalty (capital punishment has a moratorium, but death for Ghustaki Rasool remains on the statute books). Accused of seeking self-publicity by critics they sure showed Nawaz this would not work by then publicising his name far and wide in the media.

Mo Shafiq told Andrew Neil that Maajid Nawaz needed to be deselected because he risked losing seats for the Liberal Democrats. Yes, Shafiq was using incendiary language that incited death and hatred to someone in the same political party as himself because of political repercussions – not just a desire to defend the prophet. During that interview, Maajid Nawaz could not take part in the discussion as police had warned against due to the death threats he received. 

We can all hope Shafiq has learnt not to play these dangerous games in the future – but it was not a one off. Before this in 2013, Shafiq completely misrepresented an article Nawaz had written. Shafiq claimed Nawaz had called for a state ban of the veil – when he had spoken against that.

Before that, Shafiq had led a campaign against Tom Holland which was equally misinformed regarding his documentary on Islam. Writing about these two incidents in November 2013, my conclusion was:

The regulator saw no case to investigate the complaints brought against the documentary. However, claims that Tom Holland was deliberately distorting the evidence to fit a biased narrative played their part in abuse and death threats he received. Honest academic research and inquiry into history met with abuse and hysteria. There at the beginning was Mohammed Shafiq whipping it up.


He is trying to do the same with Nawaz, misrepresenting, taking things out of context.

Mohammed Shafiq needs to be called on that – because it has repercussions for serious debate, let alone the safety of others when motives are questioned and emotions played on with such disregard to personal integrity by the antagonist. Shafiq has himself had a credible death threat; he rightly has the liberty to speak his mind, and a nation that values free speech should protect that.


When he twists and distorts others words and actions in the process he deserves our contempt and resolve not to get away with it.

Now in March 2015 Mo Shafiq apologises to Maajid Nawaz over the cartoon tweets:

 

The apology follows Shafiq’s appearance on the BBC The Big Questions, where apostasy in Islam was discussed. We need clear articulation that we must live with each other despite having different views and completely condemn any violence, discrimination or prejudice for dissenting opinions on religion or imposing them on others. 

Shafiq complained on the show that host Nicky Campbell was organising a witch hunt on certain individuals that come on. The following apology suggests this is more about laying a ghost to rest – that language and conduct that endangers others is never acceptable even in the heat of the moment. That maybe, it should not take over a year, and a public appearance on television, to realise you need to apologise for unacceptable behaviour. 

“Let’s forgive and move on” says Maajid Nawaz. Fair enough. 

 Doubt any of us will forget though. 

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Video: “Europe and Anti-Semitism: Are we at a civilisational crisis point?”

The above discussion from last week features Douglas Murray, Maajid Nawaz, Brendan O’Neill and Simone Rodan. The event was organised by the Central Synagogue in London in conjunction with the Henry Jackson Society.

Thanks to @MehrdadAmanpour for tweeting link to.

IMG_2498

Photo from Central Synagogue here.

The video is almost two hours long, but if pushed for time here is Maajid’s 11 minute speech during:

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