Maajid Nawaz and liberal hypocrisy: When the chickens came home to roost

    Abdullah al Andalusi shares his thoughts on the Daily Mail’s revelation about Maajid Nawaz harassing a naked dancer at a strip club during Ramadan. 

    Everyone has been aware of the recent controversy caused when a right-wing newspaper yesterday published an exposé of some of the private antics Maajid Nawaz.

    I view the tabloid media and their gutter policies of personal attacks with utter distaste, dredging up the worst in humanity and constantly publishing it, seeking money and scandal with equal vigour, inadvertently normalising such behaviour in society.

    I’m not going to comment on the incident reported but on what happened around it. The newspaper report raised concerns of Maajid’s hypocrisy concerning his claims to be a ‘feminist’ and his support for (the Liberal understanding of) Women’s Rights. However, the newspaper which published the exposé, reported that a spokesmen for Maajid Nawaz (presumably his lawyer) said in response to concerns regarding his reputation for advocating women’s rights was “in the context of Islamic extremism”.

    What does this statement mean? Does Maajid Nawaz not care about women’s rights in the context of humans generally? Does ‘women’s rights’ only apply to Muslims, but not Liberals or others? Or perhaps, are Muslim made to follow rules that not even the West follows, because they hope to undermine Islam?

    Well, if that is the case it wouldn’t be the first time. Lord Cromer, the British governor of Egypt while under British occupation, was a strong advocate for ‘European women’s rights’ against the Egyptians, because he hoped to use women and ‘women’s rights’ to undermine Islam and render the Egyptians stably under foreign rule and under Western ideology.

    “The position of women in Egypt, and Mohammedan countries generally, is, therefore a fatal obstacle to the attainment of that elevation of thought and character which should accompany the introduction of Western civilisation” [1916, Lord Cromer]

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    This was despite the fact that he opposed the right for women to vote in elections back in the UK!

    UK and liberal countries publicly complain when Liberal activists are arrested in other countries, including Muslims ones, like Raif Badawi, yet the British government tell Islamic activists in the UK who are not liberal ‘the game is up. We will no longer tolerate your behaviour…The starting point of [our] new strategy is the emphatic rejection of the misconception that in a liberal democracy like Britain, “anything goes””

    So when it comes to Liberal proselytisers in the Muslim world, they shout for ‘freedom of speech’, but when it comes to granting Muslims in the West and equal right to peacefully express themselves, they say ‘it is a misconception that…anything goes [here’. I’d find it interesting to see if every government that locks up, restricts or limits the ability of Liberal activists to express their opinions, would RECITE back to the UK the exact same words they use, as a justification. Perhaps Saudi Arabia could say ‘To those who advocate Liberalism in Saudi – the game is up. We will no longer tolerate your behaviour…The starting point of [our] new strategy is the emphatic rejection of the misconception that in a constitutional monarch like Saudi Arabia, “anything goes””.

    France isn’t any better, they advocate freedom for women to wear revealing clothes, freedom to worship, and freedom to insult and demonise religious minorities ‘as long as it’s not done referring to their race’ – yet they DENY WOMEN to wear headscarves, or niqabs, they deny Muslims to pray in public and they prohibit people insulting the French flag, anthem and drawing cartoons mocking the Charlie Hebdo killings using the same drawing that Charlie Hebdo used to mock the killings of Muslim protesters in Egypt.

    I find Maajid Nawaz’s (representative’s) statement to be historically typical of some Liberal mindsets, where they show limited concern for their values and principles when it gets in the way of their own interests or domestic policies – but they advocate it with full force when it comes to other civilisations, especially against Muslims and Islam. This is a mindset that emanates from Western Imperialism, and has continued to predominate their behaviour with others ever since.

    This is because Liberals are like a tribe; they justify all kinds of actions they feel are useful or necessary for the promotion of Liberalism, but deny and condemn those same actions when used for the promotion of any other way of life or worldview.

    Maajid’s Nawaz’s chickens coming home

    Some may have wondered why Maajid Nawaz has been attacked by the same media that attacks Muslims and Islam, considering that Maajid Nawaz’s touting the government narrative and self-identification as a ‘Muslim’ has been very useful as an enabler of the UK government and media to attack Islam and the Muslim minority in Britain. Although one could argue that the newspaper publishing the exposé is right-wing is motivated by Liberal Sectarian politics, or perhaps any scandal they can find, I believe there is an additional reason. Many believe Maajid Nawaz has helped portray, and even joined portraying, the Muslim community as not integrated and following Islam that makes them fundamentally at odds with ‘British values’.

    The decade of distrust and tensions has grown over the many years (which were recently evidence by the opinions expressed in a recent poll, which Maajid Nawaz contributed to by providing mostly one-sided criticisms of Muslims and Islam, and ignoring the injustices of Western governments. He has been complicit in portraying many Muslims as a threat to Britain and Liberalism. Out of this milieu, has arisen a strong distrust of Muslims, especially Muslims involved in the British political system. Maajid’s own organisation, the ironically titled Quilliam Foundation, has written many articles and discussing ‘entryism’ where they croon about the dangers of Muslims who don’t subscribe to all Liberal values, infiltrating the UK political system.

    What the media has now done to Maajid Nawaz is merely his chickens coming home to roost. He used his self-identification as a ‘Muslim’ to participate and enable the government and media to create an atmosphere of mistrust against Muslims – and because of this, he too has become consumed by it.

    Abdullah al Andalusi is the founder of the Muslim Debate Initiative. He is an international lecturer, thinker, speaker and debater on Islamic and Muslim issues.


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