Maajid Nawaz is not fit to be an MP or a showcase “feminist”

Maajid Nawaz

Activist Amar Alam explains how the Daily Mail’s expose on Maajid Nawaz harassing a naked dancer at an East London strip club during the holy month of Ramadan, has further proven the so-called “feminist’s” lack of credibility as a representative of Islam and Muslims in the UK.

Maajid Nawaz the head of the anti-extremism think-tank the Quilliam Foundation, and a would-be Liberal Democrats MP, with links to a number of neo-conservative and fascist organisations, was exposed yesterday by the Daily Mail as a man who enjoyed exploiting vulnerable women when a CCTV recording exposed how he objectified and harassed women in a strip club.

The footage first leaked by the Daily Mail, and now freely available to view on YouTube, shows Maajid engaging in behaviour so inappropriate that it was deemed to be ‘outrageous’ by staff at the seedy strip club. On a number of occasions whilst in a private room during two £20 lap dance sessions, he tries to touch a naked dancer inappropriately when she is clearly uncomfortable and seen pushing his hands away.

Last night, Maajid went on Twitter to comment on the story published by the Daily Mail and stated that it was part of his “stag night” before he married his current wife Rachel Maggart. However, the manager of the venue, Jay Shah, stated that “he was quite persistent in his inappropriate behaviour and asked the dancer out on a date and for her number”, not the type of behaviour you expect from a faithful man and would-be MP.

Lib Dem parliamentary hopeful

Maajid is running as the Liberal Democrat’s candidate for the constituency of Hampstead and Kilburn in North-West London during the General Elections next month. But taking his behaviour into consideration, is he fit to lead a constituency when he finds no issue in exploiting vulnerable women for his own personal enjoyment?

This is a key question the Liberal Democrats must ask themselves, because his behaviour has brought the party’s image into disrepute. Do the Lib Dems want to be associated with a man who is now a liability to the party and has no integrity and credibility left?

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The great irony behind Maajid Nawaz’s exploitation of vulnerable women is that on Newsnight in 2013 he declared himself to be a “feminist” and regularly paints himself to be a champion of women’s rights. However, it is now clear that Maajid is happy to exploit women for his own needs and has no issue in using them as degraded commodities.

Abdul Malik, the owner of the night club, made it clear that he made the video accessible to the public to highlight the clear hypocrisy in Maajid’s behaviour because he portrays himself as a “feminist”, a “family man” and acts like a “spokesman for Islam”, yet he is nothing of the sort, especially as he visited the club during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Furthermore, Maajid Nawaz frequently speaks about the need to reform Islam from its “misogynistic practices”, so is going to strip clubs and treating women like objects the standard that he wants Muslims to adopt when he calls for a reformation of Islam?

Women’s rights

Unfortunately, there will be some in society who will not condemn his behaviour. Nevertheless, to put this issue into context, for most women being a stripper is extremely dangerous and not something done by choice. Rather, most strippers commit to their roles due to desperation and poverty. A recent study conducted on young students showed that they are turning to the sex industry due to financial debt.

The Mail scoop
The Mail scoop

So for Maajid Nawaz to not only use such a service for his personal enjoyment but also treat the women with clear acts of disrespect, it is outrageous if he is left unchallenged, especially by the feminist community and not asked to resign by the Liberal Democrats.

The British government must also decide if they want such an individual as their voice to counter extremism and counter-terrorism through his organisation, the Quilliam Foundation. By continuing to use him and his organisation they will be stating that they have no problem with misogyny and the exploitation of women.

Furthermore, since Maajid Nawaz is synonymous with the Quilliam Foundation, it raises big questions of how millions of taxpayers pounds that went into funding Quilliam are being used.

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