Maajid Usman Nawaz (Urdu: [ˈmaːdʒɪd̪ nəwaːz]; born 2 November 1977) is a British activist and radio presenter. He was the founding chairman of Quilliam, a counter-extremism think tank that sought to challenge the narratives of Islamist extremists, and is the host of a radio show on LBC, every Saturday and Sunday.
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Maajid Usman Nawaz (Urdu: [ˈmaːdʒɪd̪ nəwaːz]; born 2 November 1977) is a British campaigner and radio presenter. He was the founding chairman of Quilliam, a counter-extremism think tank that sought to challenge the narratives of Islamist extremists, and is the host of a radio show on LBC, every Saturday and Sunday.
Born in Southend-on-Sea, Essex to a British Pakistani family, Nawaz is a former zealot of the Islamist help Hizb ut-Tahrir, an attachment that led to his December 2001 arrest in Egypt, where he remained imprisoned until 2006. Reading books upon human rights and interacting afterward Amnesty International—who adopted him as a prisoner of conscience—resulted in a bend of heart: he left Hizb-ut-Tahrir in 2007, renounced his Islamist past, and called for a “secular Islam”. After his turnaround, Nawaz co-founded Quilliam bearing in mind former Islamists, including Ed Husain. He wrote an autobiography, Radical (2012) and has past become a prominent critic of Islamism in the United Kingdom.
He is a weekly columnist for The Daily Beast, and his writings have been published in various international newspapers; he appears frequently on television; and has delivered lectures including at the UK Defence Academy and Marshall Center for Security Studies. His second book, Islam and the Future of Tolerance (2015), co-authored with atheist author Sam Harris, was published in October 2015. He was the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for London’s Hampstead and Kilburn constituency in the 2015 general election.
Maajid Nawaz's Quotes
All quotes from Maajid Nawaz sorted alphabetically:
As I went between the Islamic Society in my college and university, the mosque, the halal takeaway, and visited the homes of my male Muslim friends, it was entirely possible for me to get through my day without interacting in any meaningful way with a single non-Muslim.
I had a mind inquiring enough to question world events, as well as the passion fostered by my background to care, but I lacked the emotional maturity to process these things. That made me ripe for Islamist recruitment. Into this ferment came my recruiter, himself straight out of a London medical college.
I was filled with hate and anger. But during my trial, something decisive happened: Amnesty International adopted me as a prisoner of conscience, and it was an unbelievable feeling to know that there is someone fighting for you on the outside. Amnesty's 'soft' approach made me seriously consider alternatives to revenge.
Yes, women should be free to cover their faces when walking down the street. But in our schools, hospitals, airports, banks and civil institutions, it is not unreasonable - nor contrary to the teachings of Islam - to expect women to show the one thing that allows the rest of us to identify them... namely, their face.