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Past Events

Book Launch: Islam and the Future of Tolerance

Harvard University Institute of Politics / 14 September 2015 / 11:00

14 September 2015

18:00 EST (11:00 BST)

Maajid Nawaz and Sam Harris will be launching their new book entitled 'Islam and the Future of Tolerance' at the Harvard University Institute of Politics on 14th September 2015 at 18:00 EST. The event will involve a panel discussion, including: - Maajid Nawaz, a former Islamist, past Amnesty International-adopted Prisoner of Conscience in Egypt, and, more recently, UK Parliamentary candidate for the Liberal Democrats, author of RADICAL and co-founder and chairman of Quilliam. - Sam Harris, a neuroscientist, prominent atheist, and author of five New York Times bestsellers, including The End of Faith, Letter to a Christian Nation, and Waking Up. - Juliette Kayyem (moderator), a lecturer in Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School Former Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs, US Department of Homeland Security. The event can be live streamed using the following link.


/ 02 June 2014 /

Maajid Nawaz (counter-extremism campaigner, author of Radical and founder of Quilliam) and Cosh Omar spoke publicly together for the first time about the Creative Industries and Freedom of Speech.

Speaking together Maajid and Cosh discussed the need for the creative industries to push back against extremism, and reassert Freedom of Speech. The creative industries are the first to suffer wherever extremists happen to raise their voices. It follows therefore, that the creative industries must be the first to defend the erosion of Free Speech.

Both former affiliates of the extreme Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir, having renounced this group, along with its extreme ideology of Islamism, Cosh and Maajid have come to believe that globalization and shifting patterns of identity have led to the rise of extreme political and religious trends across Europe and the world.

Where the liberal-left have traditionally hesitated in calling out bigotry when it hails from minority communities, this has placed secular humanism and especially the principle of Freedom of Speech, under heavy assault. Avoiding the offence of cultural and religious sensitivities is fast becoming a new euphemism for clamping down on individual autonomy. Amidst a wave of self-doubt, blasphemy laws, though formally abolished in the UK, are being self-enforced from fear of those who shout the loudest.

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Maajid Nawaz in conversation with Tom Holland

/ 26 November 2012 / 11:00
Best-selling author of Rubicon and Persian Fire, Tom Holland’s new book In the Shadow of the Sword tells the story of how the ancient world came to an end and how a new power, Islam, arose. It is a tale vivid with drama, horror and startling achievement, wars and plagues, emperors in golden palaces and ulcerous saints on pillars. Bringing the debate on Islam’s origins to public view for the first time, Tom Holland is in conversation with Maajid Nawaz, Islamic extremist turned human rights advocate and author of Radical – My Journey from Islamic Extremism to a Democratic Awakening. Tickets available here

The Observer Festival of Ideas

/ 05 November 2012 / 19:30

Radical: My Journey from Islamist Extremism to a Democratic Awakening

5 November 2012, 19.30-21.00

Watershed, Bristol

A 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. Arriving in Egypt the day before 9/11 his views soon led to his arrest, imprisonment and mental torture, before being thrown into solitary confinement in a Cairo jail reserved for political prisoners. There, while mixing with everyone from the assassins of Egypt’s president to Liberal reformists, he was adopted by Amnesty International as a Prisoner of Conscience, underwent an intellectual transformation and on his release after four years, he publically renounced the Islamist ideology that had defined his life, though he remains a Muslim. Maajid will be interviewed by writer and journalist Shiv Malik. They will discuss his journey and the work he now does to undermine the beliefs he had once been prepared to die for.

For more information click here

First Wednesday - Defending Islam and Free Speech

/ 03 October 2012 / 19:00

Freedom of expression or provocation? The appearance on YouTube of an anti-Islam film produced in the US and the subsequent publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad in France have sparked protests in Muslim communities.

Embassies, cinemas and even popular western fast-food branches have been targeted by protestors. Join us as we examine the root causes of this wave of protest and violent attacks that have spread across the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

In the same month that Salman Rushdie's memoir documenting his life following the publication of The Satanic Verses is published, these recent events again open the debate on freedom of expression and freedom of religion. We will be looking at how this plays out in a world more connected than ever before, where an individuals freedom to express themselves can reach millions.

Chaired by Paddy O'Connell of BBC Radio 4's Broadcasting House.


Maajid Nawaz, co-Founder and executive director of Quilliam, founder of Khudi and author of Radical: My Journey from Islamist Extremism to a Democratic Awakening. He was formerly on the UK national leadership for the global Islamist party Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT). Twitter: @MaajidNawaz

David Aaronovitch, writer, broadcaster, commentator and regular columnist for The Times. He is author of Voodoo Histories: The role of Conspiracy Theory in Modern History and Paddling to Jerusalem: An Aquatic Tour of Our Small Country. Twitter: @DAaronovitch

Myriam Francois-Cerrah, writer and journalist. She is currently a post-graduate researcher (DPhil) at Oxford University, focusing on Islamic movements in Morocco, and teaches Middle East politics. She writes for the Guardian, the New Statesman, The London Paper, Index on Censorship, The Cherwell, The F-word and others.

Kirsty Hughes, the Chief Executive of Index on Censorship - an international freedom of expression non-governmental organisation. She is a commentator on European and international affairs and has worked at Chatham House and written for Friends of Europe and the Centre for European Policy Studies in Brussels.

Maajid Nawaz at the Edinburgh Festival

/ 12 August 2012 / 12:00
Maajid Nawaz - One Man's Journey from Extremist to Democrat How do ordinary people become involved with radical or extreme causes? British born Pakistani, Maajid Nawaz, was recruited into a global Islamist party and rose to its leadership before being imprisoned in Egypt. Now back in the UK, he has turned his back on Islamism, and founded a 'counter-extremism social movement'. He joins us to explain what made him change his views. For ticket information please click here

BBC Radio 4 Any Questions

/ 10 August 2012 / 20:00
Maajid Nawaz takes part in Any Questions, where Eddie Mair presents a panel discussion of news and politics from the BBC Philharmonic studio, Salford, Manchester.

Anders Breivik and Similar Cases Demonstrate the Fanaticism is a form of Madness

/ 19 July 2012 / 19:00
Maajid will take part in a debate hosted by Guys Hospital and chaired by Dr Raj Persaud. Maajid will be speaking on the opposing side of the motion.

Dartington The Telegraph Way With Words Festival

/ 15 July 2012 / 16:00
Maajid Nawaz speaks at Dartington The Telegraph Way With Words Festival about his book Radical.

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

Frontline Club London / 11 July 2012 / 19:00
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 in conversation with Shiv Malik, an investigative journalist and the co-author of Jilted Generation: How Britain Has Bankrupted Its Youth 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. For tickets click here

Maajid Nawaz Speaks to BBC World Service's June Christie

/ 10 July 2012 / 09:00
Maajid Nawaz speaks to BBC Outlook on BBC World Service about his experiences and about Radical Listen back here

Maajid Nawaz Speaks with Jumoke Fashiola

/ 08 July 2012 / 08:00
Maajid Nawaz joins Jumoke Fashiola on her weekly programme, Inspirit, to discuss the release of Radical Listen back here

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BBC Asian Network Interview

/ 06 July 2012 / 14:00
Maajid Nawaz will speak with BBC Asian Network's Nihal on his chatshow about Radical. Nihal's show focuses on discussion and debate on the big issues affecting British Asians. Listen back here

Maajid Nawaz Talks to Pat Kenny on RTE Radio 1

/ 06 July 2012 / 11:00
Maajid Nawaz appears on The Today Show with Pat Kenny on Ireland's RTE Radio 1 Listen back here

BBC Radio 3 Nightwaves

/ 05 July 2012 / 22:00
Maajid Nawaz will appear on BBC Radio 3's flagship arts programme, Nightwaves, to discuss Radical Listen back here

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Press Releases

  • Quilliam Chairman and Co-Founder Releases Autobiography Radical
    5 July 2012
    Radical – My Journey from Islamist Extremism to A Democratic Awakening is the story of a British-Pakistani born and raised in Essex, Maajid Nawaz, who was recruited into Islamism as a teenager. Abandoning his love of hip hop culture, he joined Hizb al-Tahrir, where he played a central role in the shaping and dissemination of an aggressive anti-West narrative, which included the creation of new international cells and the encouragement of military coups.

    Arriving in Egypt the day before 9/11 to study as part of his Arabic and law degree, his Islamist views soon led to his arrest and incarceration. Whilst mixing with everyone from Sadat’s assassins to Liberal reformists, an intellectual transformation occurred and Amnesty International adopted him as a Prisoner of Conscience.  Upon his release, Maajid renounced political Islamism, while remaining a Muslim, and now travels the world educating and inspiring young people about democracy through Quilliam.

    Praise for Radical:

    ‘Maajid Nawaz was thirty years my junior when I first encountered him in the Torah Prison. His story saddened but inspired me. His innocence and idealism sharply contrasted with the corruption and despotism of his captors. Through Maajid, my faith was renewed that a spring of freedom was bound to happen eventually, and so it did.” – Dr Sa’ad al-Dine Ibrahim, Leading Egyptian political reformer and Mubarak-era political prisoner

    “Imagine Homeland crossed with Skins, and you will get some idea of what a gripping, revelatory book this is. Unputdownable.”  – Tom Holland, In The Shadow of the Sword, and the best-selling Rubicon: The Triumph and Tragedy of the Roman Republic

    This book is the account of his redemptive journey – through innocence , biogotry, hardline radicalism and beyond – to a passionate advocacy of human rights and all that this can meanI am moved beyond measure to read of the transformative effect of these letters on Maajid. It reminds me again of why I am proud to work for Amnesty International UK, whose members were so instrumental in enabling Maajid to reconnect with life and humanity.’ Kate Allen, Director, Amnesty International UK

    Media Appearances

    Radical has featured in The Times Magazine and in an exclusive interview with Maajid in The Sunday Times. Further media appearances include on BBC Radio Four Start the Week, BBC World Service,  and BBC Asian Network alongside launch events at the Frontline Club, London on Wednesday 11th July, 7pm and Google UK.

    For further information go to www.maajidnawaz.com or follow Maajid on twitter @maajidnawaz
    Radical is released by WH Allen, an imprint of Ebury Publishing at Random House, and can be ordered here