Ep#61 – Maajid Nawaz – Counter Extremism

Maajid Nawaz (@MaajidNawaz) of The Quilliam Foundation joins me on The #GSPodcast this week. We’ll be discussing the hand he had in helping Prime Minister David Cameron prepare his latest speech on tackling Islamist extremism. We also delve into the reasons young Brits are taken in by the Islamist narrative, and what we can do about it. As well as touching on race relations and the left, Maajid will also be sharing some details of his upcoming book collaboration with Sam Harris.

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  • Great interview with Maajid Nawaz Stephen, so refreshing to hear someone connected with Government thinking talking such sense. I was particularly heartened to hear Maajid call on people to take responsibility – a call which is dear to my heart. I have attached a link here https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/take-responsibility-keith-barnwell?published=u to my feeling on taking responsibility which if you worthy I would be grateful for you sharing with your many listeners and supports.

    Keep up the excellent work


  • Excellent podcast GS, thank you!

    Maajid is clearly a thought leader, a shining light, and a breath of fresh air in this type of discussion. His words should be amplified at every opportunity.

    I do have a problem with the reform agenda though. Its a perfectly good thing for a Muslim to try to achieve, but for non-Muslims any attempt to get people to believe in a different version of Islam is insincere, since they don’t actually believe that any version is really true themselves.

    So, Maajid and Osama Hasan can use that argument, but David Cameron, Sam Harris and Ayaan Hirsi Ali can’t.

    I’d rather hear a moral argument against slavery, FGM, rape, beheadings, etc. and a logical argument against Islam (and religion in general). For someone like Cameron, educated to the highest level in philosophy and debating, this should be very simple, instead he seems now to be entirely reliant on self-taught Maajid.

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  • I listened to him talking to Sam Harris in the recorded discussion they had. I thought it was a bit silly for Maajid to claim Islam is a religion of peace based on the majority of muslims being non violent and peaceful. It would be true to say *Most muslims are peaceful* but the scripture of Islam is not peaceful. Dawkins in his book ‘God Delusion’ wrote about the Quran and said that there is a bit at the beginning that’s peaceful, but the rest of it was anything but peaceful. I suppose that puts Maajid in the camp of islam apologist.

    At least there is a dialogue happening but the apologists should be taken to task on such blatant distortions of the truth.

    I expect you listened to that Sam Harris Podcast. What is your view on it?

    • Stephen Knight

      I don’t think Maajid claimed Islam was a religion of peace did he? I seem to remember him rejecting the notion that Islam can be just one particular thing.

      Which Sam Harris Podcast, specifically?

      • ‘Islam and the future of Tolerance’ in the Sam Harris podcast – Waking Up

        I’ll have another listen, but I swear he claimed Islam was a religion of peace because the majority of muslims are peaceful.

        I reckon the scriptures would have to be radically changed and cut to take all the bad stuff out. That’s what they base the religion on. If some people can cherry pick the violent passages then it can’t be a religion of peace. The writings they all profess to believe is their religion.

      • I listened again and it is at 6 minutes to 8 minutes.

        • Stephen Knight

          I’d be very surprised if he simply claims it is a religion of peace in the same sense as apologists do. I’ve heard him a number of times say it isn’t a religion ‘of’ anything and it’s just like other religions, with all their schisms, dogmas and taboos, but I’ll take a listen when I get chance. Thank you.

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