Nearly 2,500 people have signed a petition to get Maajid Nawaz kicked out of the Liberal Democrats.
The petition on Change.org was started last night in response to Nawaz’s recent activity on Twitter where he has posted pictures of the Prophet Muhammad (saw) and Prophet Isa (as) which many Muslims have found offensive.
Nawaz, who runs the anti-extremism think-tank the Quilliam Foundation, is a parliamentary candidate for the Hampstead and Kilburn parliamentary seat.
You can view the petition here
The petition says:
“Maajid Nawaz’s recent activity on social media outlets Facebook and Twitter have been both disrespectful and offensive to the Muslim community in the UK and abroad and the Islamic faith at large. It is my assertion that through his posting and association with derogatory and disrespectful cartoons of the Prophet Jesus and Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon them) Maajid Nawaz is in breach of Article 3.1(b) of the Federal Constitution that states:
As a Member of the Liberal Democrats, you must treat others with respect and must not bully, harass or intimidate any Party member, member of Party staff, member of Parliamentary staff, Party volunteer or member of the public. Such behaviour will be considered to be bringing the Party into disrepute.
“And hence the Party must take punitive action ideally through disassociating itself with Mr Nawaz by removing him from his position as PPC for Hampstead and Kilburn.
“How is it sustainable that the Liberal Democrats maintain their selected candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn, Maajid Nawaz, while he tweets images from and promotes a cartoon series (Jesus and Mo) which he is well aware contains many highly offensive images of Jesus and Muhammad including homo-erotic scenes of them in bed together, being at bars together drinking alcohol using foul language, and reading pornographic magazines, among many other clearly offensive images, offensive to both faiths.
“It should also be noted that when questioned by members of the public on his posting of the images Mr Nawaz only served to bring the Party into further disrepute with his responses, a selection of which follow:
“offence?? Get the F**** off my timeline if you’re offended. I’m not, and he’s MY prophet too”
“oh P*** off bro, its MY timeline, I can do what I want on it”
“If you dont like an inoffensive, rather polite cartoon, I don’t give a **** get the **** off my timeline. Why did I post it? Who gives a ****!”
“Ha ha!! As @IceCube once said in the intro skit to “Amerikkka’s Most Wanted”, while on death row. “F*** all y’all” #Radical”
“The Liberal Democrats have, in the past few years, made great strides in showing goodwill and support in reaching out to the British Muslim Community both through their leadership, Nick Clegg, and on a local level through the stellar work done by individual councillors such as Sarah Teather and David Ward who both continue to show exemplary connection, empathy and leadership of their communities unlike Mr Nawaz.
“Mr Nawaz’s actions fall far short and run contrary to the conciliatory tone adopted by the Party at large and have clearly bought the Party into disrepute and run the risk of tarnishing the positive work it has done in the recent past and alienating its Muslim supporters.”
Meanwhile a counter-petition has been launched (also on Change.org) supporting Nawaz and entitled: “Give full support to Lib Dem PCC Maajid Nawaz and take disciplinary action against party member Mohammed Shafiq.”
The petition has been signed by nearly 500 people and says: “On January 12th, Maajid Nawaz, Liberal Democrat PPC for Hampstead and Killburn, posted an innocuous ‘Jesus and Mo’ cartoon on his Twitter timeline and stated that he, as a Muslim, was not offended by the content. This followed a BBC Big Questions programme in which the cartoons were discussed and Maajid Nawaz was included as a studio guest. The cartoon depicts Jesus and Mo saying ‘Hey’ and ‘How ya doin'” to each other.
“Islamists and political opponents have now mounted a campaign against Maajid Nawaz, resulting in numerous threats to his life. We note that this campaign, rather than being based on legitimate concerns of Muslims, is a political campaign which is being spear-headed by a group of Muslim reactionairies with a track record of promoting extremism.
“They are seeking to use Muslim communities in order to whip up hatred against a liberal and secular Muslim. We are concerned that this campaign will also be used by anti-Muslim extremists as evidence of Muslim intolerance and incompatibility with liberal values which could, in turn, fuel anti-Muslim bigotry.
“We note with concern that this attempt to silence Maajid Nawaz is fuelled by Liberal Democrats party member Mohammed Shafiq. Freedom of expression are essential to the functioning of a liberal democracy, and core values of the Liberal Democratic party. The agitation of a party member against a designated PPC is antithetical to these core values.
Nawaz’s Quilliam Foundation used to get millions in funding from the government which was keen to put the onus on the Muslim community to “clean up its own house” after the 9/11 and 7/7 attacks. Although that funding has now been withdrawn Nawaz still promotes his message of “Muslim reform” on mainstream TV stations and in the right-wing media.