Maajid Nawaz was once a rabble-rousing recruiter for the Muslim extremist group Hizb ut-Tahrir. He spewed out hate speeches and welcomed the horror of the 9/11 attack on America. He spent five years in an Egyptian prison where he was subjected to torture and solitary confinement.

Since he renounced radicalism he has been physically attacked on the streets of Pakistan and had his life threatened in Britain. And if that wasn’t bad enough, he has just been selected as the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for the seat of Hampstead and Kilburn in north London.

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This article was originally published in ‘The Sunday Times’ on 1 September 2013