Insight with Maajid Nawaz: My Journey from Islamist Extremism to a Democratic Awakening

Talk July 11, 2012 7:00 PM

A 33-year-old British Pakistani who grew up in Essex, Maajid Nawaz was recruited into political Islam as a teenager. He joined Hizb al-Tahrir (the Liberation Party) where he played a central role in the shaping and dissemination of an aggressive anti-West narrative.

Having journeyed into and out of Islamic extremism, Maajid Nawaz remains a Muslim but is a leading critic of his former Islamist ideological dogma. He will be joining us to discuss this journey told in his new book and the work he now does undermining the beliefs he had once been prepared to die for.

After travelling to Pakistan, where he hoped to bring about an Islamist coup, Nawaz then went to Egypt, arriving the day before the 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States and was subsequently arrested and imprisoned. Adopted by Amnesty International as a Prisoner of Conscience, he underwent an intellectual transformation and upon his release renounced political Islamism.

Maajid Nawaz is co-founder and chairman of Quilliam, a globally active civic-intervention organisation that focuses on matters of Integration, Citizenship & Identity, Religious Freedom, Extremism and Immigration. He is also the Founder of Khudi, a Pakistan based social movement campaigning to entrench democratic culture among the nation’s youth.