The BBC has apologised to Maajid Nawaz after the chairman of the Islamic Human Rights Commission described him as a “hate preacher” live on air.
Massoud Shadjareh was speaking to BBC News hours after the Islamophobic terror attack in Finsbury Park which led to the death of one person and injured several more.
Shadjareh said his organisation had repeatedly warned that an attack against Muslims could take place. “We warned the Metropolitan Police, the Mayor of London, of the level of hatred on a daily basis, it was very dangerous and it could lead to something like this.”
Mr Shadjareh then went on to make specific allegations against “hate preachers” on radio and media, naming Maajid Nawaz, Katie Hopkins and Douglas Murray as people who were “bombarding” audiences with “hatred of the Muslim community and indeed mainstream Islam. This cannot go on”, he said
But after being approached by Nawaz’s lawyer, BBC News apologised to Nawaz for airing the remarks. The newsreader said: “At this time yesterday, we interviewed live a contributor who expressed the view that Maajid Nawaz was a ‘hate preacher.’
“Mr Nawaz is founding chairman of the Quilliam Foundation, which described itself as one of the world’s leading counter-extremism organisations. We would like to make clear that we were unaware that Mr Nawaz would be named in this way, and would like to apologise to Mr Nawaz.”
Maajid Nawaz is widely reviled within the British Muslim community because of his numerous media appearances taking aim at mainstream Muslim organisations and individuals. His critics argue that he is contributing to the climate of hate against Muslims. Nawaz says all he is doing is countering extremism with a view to keeping Britain safe and cohesive.