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Maajid Nawaz Quotes
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.
Satire is, by definition, offensive. It is meant to make us feel uncomfortable. It is meant to make us scratch our heads, think, do a double-take, and then think again.
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.
Unity in faith is theocracy; unity in politics is fascism.
My identity comprises of more than just my faith. I am a proud Muslim, but I am also a liberal, a Briton, a Pakistani, a Londoner, a father, a product of the globalised world who speaks English, Arabic and Urdu.
'Muslim' is not a political party. 'Muslim' is not a single culture. Muslims go to war with each other. There are more Muslims in India, Russia and China than in most Muslim-majority nations. 'Muslim' is not a homogenous entity.
Language that is designed to dehumanize has consequences.
In Bosnia, the case was there were white, blond-haired, blue-eyed Muslims who were being slaughtered and identified as Muslims. That really touched me.
Islam will be what Muslims make of it. And it is the sum total of the interpretation that Muslims give to it.
As people's opportunities to succumb to confirmation bias increases online - only seeking out information that confirms their prejudices - ignorance, extremism and close-mindedness have continued to rise unabated.
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I have founded Khudi, in Pakistan, a youth movement which tries to counter extremist ideology through healthy discussion and debate.
Societies should be judged by how they treat the weakest among them.
Islamism is an ideology that seeks to impose any version of Islam over society.
The fact is that there is a serious problem of extremism with minority groups within Muslim communities.
The British state already invests in early intervention campaigns in drug abuse and sexual health. Challenging extremism should be no less of a priority.
I can now say that the more I learnt about Islam, the more tolerant I became.
Ironically, xenophobic nationalists are utilizing the benefits of globalization.
There are no globalized, youth-led, grassroots social movements advocating for democratic culture across Muslim-majority societies. There is no equivalent of Al-Qaeda without the terrorism.
Islamism is not Islam. Islamism is the politicisation of Islam, the desire to impose a version of this ancient faith over society.
Preying on the grievances of disaffected young men is the bedrock of Islamism.
After much soul searching I was able to renounce my past Islamist ideology, challenging everything I was once prepared to die for.
The only way we can challenge Islamism is to engage with one another. We need to make it as abhorrent as racism has become today. Only then will we stem the tide of angry young Muslims who turn to hate.
I really didn't grow up religious, and I didn't grow up acknowledging my Muslim identity. For me, I was a British Pakistani.
Hip-hop in the '90s began moving towards the Nation of Islam and the 5 Percenters, black nationalist movements; very much so, these movements embraced a form of Islam: Malcom X's form of Islam prior to his change.
I was in prison with pretty much the who's who of the jihadist and Islamist scene of Egypt at the time, and Egypt was the cradle of Islamism for the world - it's where it began and where jihadism began as well.
Expressing myself through language was always something that I had had to learn to do more so than others.
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