This panel discussion was transcribed by Michelle Butler.


Host: John Barron.

British activist, author, columnist and politician Maajid Nawaz joins Rebecca Weisser, John Stanley and Sara Saleh on the panel to talk Islam and the future of tolerance.

John Barron: Hello, and welcome to the Drum. I’m John Barron. On the program tonight: Muslim extremist, prisoner, Prime-Ministerial advisor and would-be member of British Parliament. Maajid Nawaz has been many things. He’s also our studio guest on The Drum.

And joining us on the panel tonight, the co-host of 2UE Breakfast John Stanley, human rights advocate Sara Saleh, and journalist and author Rebecca Weisser. And of course you can join in on Twitter using the hashtag #TheDrum.

The September 11 attacks in 2001 made people – in Western nations particularly -acutely aware of the threat of terrorism in the name of Islam. And fifteen years later it’s probably fair to say that threat feels even closer to home. Radicals plotting violence aren’t just in villages or caves in Afghanistan – they’re in our suburbs, our schools and our mosques. Stopping individuals from becoming radicalised and drawn towards violence in the name of Islam is becoming a major concern for governments around the world.

Someone with the ear of leaders including British Prime Minister David Cameron is Maajid Nawaz who was radicalised as a youth himself in the UK, where he joined the Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir. But now, Nawaz spends his life combatting their ideology and attacking the people he calls “far Left Islamist apologists”.

(Video montage)

Mike Clay compiled that report. And Maajid Nawaz, welcome to The Drum. Good to see you here.

Maajid Nawaz: Thank you. Pleasure to be here.

JB: When you find yourself sitting down around a table like this with the likes of David Cameron or members of the US Congress, what is the most important insight from the road that you’ve travelled, what is the most important thing that you can tell them?

MN: Well the first thing I would say, the most important this is: That was my stag night – just to make that very clear. It was before my wedding, I was on my “bucks night” I think you guys call it here – and the CCTV footage was sold by the Muslim owner of that strip club to a Right Wing tabloid newspaper during an election campaign. So I think that’s important to put that on the record.

JB: And there is this sort of argument with people saying “he’s not even a proper Muslim anymore – not only is he no longer in Hizb ut-Tahrir, he’s really not one of us, he can’t speak for us”

MN: Well I think this whole idea of Muslim policing – that we even need to define what a proper Muslim is, is part of the problem. It’s not my job, and it shouldn’t be anyone else’s job to investigate peoples’ beliefs. Anyone who says to me they’re a Muslim – they’re a Muslim. I’m not going to ask them and test them like the Saudi Arabian religious police as to how Muslim they are and then of course we know where THAT leads to in terms of enforcing religion at the barrel of a gun.

JB: So after you’ve spoken to David Cameron about strip clubs, what do you talk to him about next in all seriousness? What is the thing that you, if nothing else – if he gets nothing else out of the conversation with you what would you like him to know?

MN: I think the MOST important thing is to distinguish Islam as a religion which is as diverse and as internally pluralistic as any other religion across the world – from Islamist extremism, which I define in one sentence as “the desire to impose any version on Islam over society”. We’ve GOT to make that distinction and by doing so we automatically disarm those on the Right Wing who say all Muslims are extremists, but we also empower reform Muslim voices from within Muslim communities who are attempting to hold this conversation and are attempting to do two things: isolate Islamist extremism from their faith as they understand it, and also reform some of the traditional practices within their communities, for example on women’s issues or what have you. So that’s crucial, and I think the mistake we’ve made, that President Obama I believe has made, is that in not naming this, we undermine to reform voices within Muslim communities.

JB: So that’s a big debate in the United States now, not to talk about “radical Islam”, but to talk about “violent extremism” to take the word “Islam” or “Muslim” out of it. Done, with good intentions, no doubt –

MN: Absolutely, umm those intentions are noble, they’re laudable, you know as you’ve just heard in the clip – I’ve been a victim of violent racism, I’ve been attacked with hammers and screwdrivers, and I’ve been a victim of the war on terror. I know what it feels like to stare a torturer in the face and have to answer questions. So they are laudable concerns, but actually it makes the problem WORSE if we don’t name Islamist extremism. Because actually in doing so we’re blurring the lines between Islam and its extremist offshoot.

JB: Do you think that being from a Pakistani background, growing up in England in the 1990s, facing almost casual racism as well as violence on a day-to-day basis – that was the trigger for you in a way, to go on the path – that led you to a jail in Egypt within a few short years? Is that a typical path or is it just one person’s story and that sort of being disconnected from the mainstream can happen in a lot of different ways?

MN: There are typical causes that we can narrow these down to, and I narrow it down to four:

One of them is a sense of grievance, and that grievance can be manifested today with Syria – there’s a huge grievance there – in my day it was Bosnia. It’s interesting that Russia was involved in both, right – but in my day there was a genocide unfolding in Bosnia which in the European continent when Muslims are witnessing a genocide and the effect that had within the same continent for all other Muslims – ah, we’re still living through the effects of that til this day, and so I think the grievance is always there.

The other thing that kicks in after that grievance is an identity crisis, because of course with Bosnia in my experience we began to question whether we’re really European and whether we really belong in Europe if a genocide against Muslims was playing out there, so that’s the second.

The third is charismatic recruiters step into that void and provide a sense of belonging to an alternative identity, and the fourth is the ideological narrative – this whole idea that there’s a global war going on against Islam and Muslims, and that Muslims somehow need to fight back with a jihad is the ideology kicks in as the fourth element.

JB: There seems almost a kind of irony there because in the 1990s the criticism was that – when Srebrenica happened – that the West wasn’t doing enough to stop this, and that they didn’t care enough about the Muslims in Europe, they just allowed this to happen, but then of course more recently when the West has gotten involved, trying to stop massacres and so on – well that’s not right either – they’re getting involved in Syria and places where they shouldn’t be.

MN: Yeah, yeah – well I wish there was MORE involvement in Syria, but that’s another topic, but actually you’re right there. There’s a half-truth to the Islamist narrative, and that – it plays on real events in geo-politics to breed a sense of anger and victimhood within young angry Muslims – which has half a truth to it, so it’s difficult to refute.

Now, of course the problem with this narrative if it’s deliberately manipulative so in the case of Bosnia you’re right, the anger was “we’re not intervening and standing by while a genocide was unfolding”, but in other instances where Western governments and the international community have tried to intervene, Islamists have spun it as Colonialism. And that’s why the real solution to this ultimately can never come through guns and bombs and war and invasions, it can only come by challenging that narrative through civil society, and we as Western societies have done that with racism in the past, we ‘ve done it with homophobia, we’ve done it with women’s rights.

What we need to start doing is empowering civil society to have this conversation – all of society, not just Muslims, not just non-Muslims, but all of us together- because of course the bomb doesn’t discriminate – and all of us together have to work our way through these as a civil society campaign.

Mistakes will be made in that conversation, but it’s as important to HAVE that conversation and to start that conversation as it is to be right when having it.

JB: Let’s open this up to questions and comments from the panel. Sara, I’m interested coz you’d be aware that in Australia, as is the case in the United Kingdom there are elements in the Muslim community that say “Maajid speaks for Maajid, and speaks to David Cameron. He doesn’t speak to or for us”. Ah, how representative do you think his perspective is, how important do you think it is for people to be able to hear?

Sarah Saleh: Umm unfortunately I think that Maajid himself falls into the trap of actually perpetuating what is basically a binary, so he has gone from one extremist to the other end basically saying that, you know, “I am the gate-keeper of what it is to be a Muslim, what it is to be appropriate, what kind of Islamism is acceptable, and what is not.”

And I think that what a lot umm, sort of the Muslim community want to get out there is that there’s a lot of umm double standards in that, there’s a hypocrisy in that, because it is a LAZY binary to perpetuate, and it is quite frankly shallow, it’s simplistic, there are so many things that we need to look at, in terms of a root historical context rather than just simply saying “yes/no”, “bad/good” umm, and you know the like.

JB: What do you say Maajid, to those sorts of criticisms, of sort of “dumbing down” the complexity of it?

MN: I don’t speak on behalf of anyone, I speak on behalf of my views and I hope people adopt those views, but I’m really curious – I’ve not said ANYTHING binary in the first few things you’ve just asked me right, so even radicalisation I’ve said it involves grievances, it involves identity crisis, I’ve said it involves anger at invasions, but it also involves ideology – I’m not sure where this binary thing is coming from but I’m REALLY interested in what Sara just said – I’m glad you’re here by the way, coz it allows me to have this conversation with you – but I’m really interested in this idea that my views are the other end of the extreme.

Sometimes we Muslims – and my fellow Muslims often fall prey to this – we don’t realise just how far the political spectrum goes because we’re so absorbed within our own communities for good or for bad. We’ve got to understand something: advocating liberal human rights, secular democratic values as I do is not the other extreme to Islamist extremism. The other extreme is anti-Muslim bigotry.

There are a whole bunch of far Right fascists out there who are winning elections in Europe at the moment, and we’ve gotta stand up to both Islamist extremism and far Right fascism by consistently advocating liberal human rights values; and it’s the consistency that I’m worried about that isn’t being applied at the moment, because we’re very good at arguing against invasions, and against torture, and I’m first in the line for that because I’ve to go through all those things right, but we’re less better at recognising within our own communities that there are serious challenges when it comes to human rights, and it’s the sword that cuts both ways, and if we did that more consistently, it would be the best way to fend off the far Right.

JB: It would seem – sorry, go ahead Sara –

SS: I definitely see what you’re saying, but I think the point that you’re missing is that you’re coming from a place where you’re saying to me that YOU’RE narrative – the way that you see the world – is the only way, and in fact it is the moral superior way.

MN: I didn’t say that –

SS: but it is the way that you’re IMPLYING it. It’s not just now, but just generally, and I think what umm, the point that I was trying to make was that it is far more complex than that when you’re talking about two billion people, umm –

MN: OF COURSE it’s complex Sara, so what based on what I’ve just said now, because you just said there’s two – I’m the other end of the extreme – what is extreme in what I’ve just said?

SS: So when you’re looking, when you’re talking about –

MN: please be specific –

SS: – so when you’re talking about the world system in terms of secularism, you mention it as though it HAS the upper moral standard or the superiority but you don’t actually look at all the BY-PRODUCTS of what secularism has – or human rights if you wanna talk about that – umm have actually brought to this modern day world, so when we talk about that you’re not looking at the fact that –

MN: So, you don’t support secularism?

SS: – when you’re talking about that, you’re looking –

MN: Do you support secularism?

SS: – let me finish: When you’re talking about that, you need to address the fact that it HAS also perpetuated sexism, capitalism, exploitative, sort of, practices. It’s also, it has also has perpetuated –

MN: No those are human ills

SS: – sexism and homophobia –

MN: Those are human ills, they’re not specific to secularism.

SS: – exactly right –

MN: Do you support secularism? Do you support secularism?

SS: Do I NEED to? I mean, but –

MN: You said it’s extreme – you said I’m the other end of the extreme. Is secularism extreme?

SS: Oh no, I’m talking about the way you present yourself as though you were the only acceptable form of –

MN: No I’m not saying that –

SS: ABSOLUTELY you’re saying that – you’re telling me that everybody else that comes with a different narrative or a different point of view is regressive!

MN: No I’m not saying that – but I’m asking – if you’re saying I’m the other extreme I’m asking you if secularism is the other extreme. Please answer that question. Is secularism the other extreme? Is secularism the other extreme? Because you just said I’m the other extreme –

SS: – did you not say that?

MN: – so I’m asking you a question –

JB: Let’s move on to another point: Rebecca, you’ve been –

MN: It’s interesting that question wasn’t answered – I’m trying to work out what the other extreme is in what I’ve just said. Is it my secularism? Is it my human rights advocacy? Is it my democratic – what is the other extreme?

SS: Oh no I think it’s the actual, the point is that you are not willing to see that there are other views other than your own in this whole debate, and so when you talk about, let’s say, violent extremism, you talk about it from a racialised point of view, but you don’t look at it from the fact that violence and extremism – or violent extremism – is actually the status quo, it’s being exported globally. The entire world is in a state of violence so when you talk about terrorism, then also talk about – without putting a race to it – talk about the global boogieman.

JB: Ok let’s put Rebecca in here –

Rebecca Weisser: Ok, well maybe – I don’t know whether this will help – but maybe I’ll talk about someone who I think is extreme.

A mosque is being built in Victoria, and the people who are funding the mosque – it’s costing 3 million dollars – have shared on their Facebook page a photo of a book by Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi.

Now, Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi is an intellectual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. He’s banned from entering the US, he was refused a visa to the UK. He said in 2013 “Our wish should be that we carry out jihad to the death”, he said of suicide bombing that he think it’s a martyrdom operation. He said of the Jewish people that “Allah imposed upon the Jewish people, a punishment for their corruption”, that “the last punishment was carried out by Hitler – and Allah willing, the next time it will be at the hands of the believers” – by that he means Muslim believers, the faithful.

So asked about – and I asked this as a journalist, I researched what was going on at this mosque (or this proposed mosque), I asked the representative of the Australian Islamic Mission what they were doing with his book. And he said; “We use this book to teach the youth, because what this book talks about is very informative, it’s very useful for the youth”. And I asked him what he thought of Qaradawi’s views on suicide bombers and he said (and I quote): “We have a clear stand in our organisation not to comment on these sorts of issues – this is nothing to do with us”.

Now, my question is: My view is that this man is extreme and that people who would use his books as a form of teaching are going to teach something that promotes extremism. My question to Maajid is what should we be doing about this?

MN: Well, you see Yusuf Qaradawi is a manifestation of umm, he’s effectively the theologian for the Muslim Brotherhood phenomenon. He comes from the strand of thought that is the Muslim Brotherhood who are political Islamists. They believe in a version of Islam being imposed by the state but not through violence, through the ballot-box. I don’t believe any form of theocracy is suitable for the modern day and age. Now that theocracy could be either expressed through the ballot-box, or, my former group attempted to do it through revolution, and then you have the jihadists who attempt to do it through violence. But none of those three categories are workable because they all essentially believe in theocracy. Anyone who’s advocating Yusuf Qaradawi’s thoughts in Australia, is effectively advocating the theocratic tendency within Islam. And so that HAS to be challenged.

If you ask what can be done about it, we need LESS denialism within my fellow Muslim communities, less obfuscation, less saying things like “the other extreme to challenging this is secular liberalism” and an acceptance that there’s a form of far right fascism, which we’re all too happy to challenge, and rightly so – we should be challenging it. But that within Muslim communities there’s ALSO a form, a strand, of bigotry and intolerance that is rearing its head- and the worst form of that is ISIS – but there are non-violent manifestations of that as well. And we know this because we survey and poll attitudes within Muslim communities across the world, we know that there are not so admirable levels of homophobia that exist that need to be challenged and dealt with. Likewise when it comes to women’s rights. These are things that poll after poll indicates we are not where we need to be on a liberal human rights spectrum. On all of these things, and the first hurdle to that is overcoming the sense of victimhood and recognising this.

JB: What do you make of this today John, given that we’re talking about, I guess some very extreme language, but at what point do we say, well you know; “freedom of speech only goes so far in this country”, and you should not be able to say certain things?

John Stanley: Well look, I do a radio show, so I’m just interested coz you say we have a conversation, you talk about what we can and can’t say, but you talk about us having a conversation –

MN: yeah –

JS: So, there are Muslims watching this, Muslim people watching, there are people who are about to start school again, teachers, so what should THEY be doing. You talk about the conversation, you know, that we need to have. What should that conversation involve? Who should be running the conversation?

MN: So, I don’t think we should BAN extremist things being said, unless they directly incite violence. So I don’t advocate that Qaradawi, or anyone that supports the Muslim Brotherhood or any other more extreme Islamist offshoot should be banned. In fact they SHOULDN’T be banned. I actually advocate stopping them being banned.

What should happen is, as we have done successfully in a Western context with homophobia, with racism, anyone advocating theocracy should be CHALLENGED. Now, unfortunately what’s happening at the moment is due to fears of appearing racist, or not wanting to upset the multicultural status-quo that through the 90s we advocated in Western societies, we have found that any form of bigotry expressed from the white mainstream – if it’s sexism, if it’s racism – we are very easily and quickly able to challenge that. But if it’s expressed within a minority context, in the name of cultural diversity, we haven’t been as vocal in challenging that.

So it’s not about banning, but it is about empowering people to have this conversation. And if they’re hearing bigoted things like what you’ve just read, ahh frankly Rebecca, that – instead of denying there’s a problem when you asked them that question, instead of saying “we don’t comment on this” if you asked them about racism – they wouldn’t be happy if someone said “I’m not going to comment but I’m going to sell the book” at the same time. So we need to overcome that double standard and recognise that human rights cut BOTH ways, and they apply FOR us as minority communities in the West, but also AGAINST us.

JS: Who does it? Who goes out and does it? Who should be –

MN: Everybody. You don’t have to be black to challenge racism, you don’t have to be gay to challenge homophobia – you don’t have to be Muslim to challenge Islamist theocracy. Everyone has a role in society, this is a whole of society campaign. We need a civil society movement – as we had with racism and homophobia to deal with and fix this question of unsuccessful integration – that is a two way street (Western governments have failed at this as well) – ahh and to fix this question of the rising theocratic trend within certain elements of Muslim communities that we witness in its worst form in the form of violence. All of us have to be involved.

JB: Maajid, it seems that when we use terms like “radicalisation” and “extremism” and so on, but of course that line is drawn at different points by different people at different times. And for some people umm, extremism is wearing clothing that somebody from Scotland would not wear. That is extreme, that is confronting to our culture, it is different, and that is – some people feel threatened by that enough to join Right Wing groups.

MN: Yeah – though by the way there are plenty of hijabis in Scotland so I wouldn’t want to give that impression – but actually that’s a very good question, and we’ve got to be at the forefront of actually challenging those who believe the problem is being conservative in one’s religious practice.

Look, I’m not devout as you saw at the introduction of your clip, right? I wouldn’t be on a stag night in a strip club if I was right, but being devoutly Muslim isn’t the problem. Now I choose not to be devout, and everyone’s choice is how they wanna manifest their religion, but being a Muslim woman who wears a headscarf or a Muslim man who has a beard or prays five times a day – that’s not the issue, which is why I distinguish Islam from Islamist extremism. The issue is wanting to impose views on other people.

Now the Right Wing, are hijacking this conversation, because we aren’t as liberals (small “L” liberals, human rights advocates) aren’t having it in the way that we should be having it. If we were able to make these clarifications and say the problem isn’t being a conservative Muslim, the issue is the Islamist theocratic tendency. If more Right-Wingers saw people like my sister Sara challenging Islamist extremism, they would – it would make it harder for them to say “every Muslim is an extremist” because right there in front of them would be a clearly devout Muslim making a case against Islamist extremism. It’s the best way to challenge bigotry.

SS: My problem with that is that again, you’re making this assumption that everybody who subscribes to this theory of Islamism is trying to impose their view, and that’s exactly what I’m saying I disagree with. If you wanna have a talk, and you wanna have an honest talk, about Islam and extremism – or “Islamism” as you like to call it, then you need to talk about a number of factors, and you need to have an honest conversation that bring in the reality of everything as you already know, from the geo-political realities, to the foreign policies, to the inequalities between North and South to all of things that actually affect the modern-day psyche –

MN: You, you’re really trying to disagree with me, when there actually – I don’t understand why, because – there’s actually – but Sara – hold on –

SS: Oh – but absolutely – I’m not trying to disagree with you, I’m just trying to say that there ARE – if you would let me finish – I’m trying to say that there are wider barriers parameters to this debate –

MN: – yeah, but I’m not disputing that –

SS: – and when you come in and limit it, that is the problem. Oh, but you’re – you just said – you are, you are not on side –

MN: – but Sara – okay, let me respond –

SS: – you’re really insistent on just not letting me finish this sentence – with all due respect –

JB: Let’s, let’s just – Sara – finish this, and then we’ll get the response.

SS: The point that I’m trying to make, is that for you, you definitely ONLY believe in one way of a government. ONLY believe in, umm secularism, or only believe that there should be, definitely, there is no room for theocracy – that is what you said, no room for “Islamism”, that is correct. So what I’m trying to say is that there doesn’t need to be that limitation, I mean if you’re talking about violent extremism, that’s one thing, but if you’re talking about people who have a belief in a certain way of government – then what is the issue THERE?

MN: – Yeah. Okay, can I? –

SS: -I’m not advocating for violence –

MN: – I’m really confused, right, coz you’re saying that I’m limiting – my introduction mentioned the genocide in Bosnia, it mentioned discrimination –

SS: – that’s not what I’m –

MN: – it mentioned human rights, so first of all, let’s be clear, I’m not JUST talking about, you know, mistakes within Muslim communities. But the second thing that’s really confusing me – and I’m curious as to why there’s just this desire to disagree, right – coz SURELY you agree, theocracy’s wrong?

SS: – I think –


SS: – do I NEED to though? Do I need to agree that it is, that it is wrong, because YOU want ME to agree that it is wrong?

MN: – this isn’t about what I want and what you want Sara –

SS: That is my POINT though, excuse me, but you are trying to undermine everything that I’m saying by saying –

JB: Hold on, hold on, I think we’ve heard both sides of this exchange, and I don’t feel as though we’re progressing much at this point –

MN: – nor do I actually, it’s really WEIRD –

SS: – that’s fine, yep –

JB: Maajid, but do let me ask this question: It seems as though some of the resentment that Muslims express towards you is based on a kind of a sense of, that I guess, on the one hand –here is a guy Muslim point of view, he went off, he became radical, he was jailed for it and so on, and NOW he comes back and he tells us he was wrong, “you’re wrong for doing things this way”, these are people who’d never DREAM of becoming what they would consider extreme or radical, and now you’re telling them what kind of Muslims they should be, what kind of society we should –

MN: Yeah, and this is why I’m confused John, because I haven’t actually told Sara to do anything –

SS: – Oh, you asked me “Do I agree with theocracy” did you not? As though I owe an answer to YOU.

MN: – what I’m surprised about, what I’m surprised at, is that without even inviting it I’m getting DISAGREED at. Now the thing is, I haven’t told Sara she doesn’t – she HAS to say one thing or the other, I’m CONFUSED that anyone can disagree, that I’m saying secularism is better than theocracy. And so what I’m confused about is, why would there be a NEED to disagree with me, when I’m saying we need to have a consistent –

SS: – but according to whose standards? You think that secularism –

RW: Wait a minute Sara, I think you’ve had your go.

MN: – we need to have a CONSISTENT approach to human rights WITHIN minority communities as well as outside them. There’s no NEED to disagree with that statement, so –

RW: Could I just intervene here as well? Because just speaking as an Australian – and I know Sara you’re an Australian as well – Australia is not a theocracy. I as an Australian do not want it to become a theocracy.

SS: Absolutely

RW: I meet people like, for example, you know, I read of them – or many people with – not ALL Muslims, but some Muslims, do want that. Because they believe that, ahh that is what Islam says should happen – that we should live in a theocratic state.

So it is very important for me, that my fellow Australians understand, that that is actually non-negotiable, as far as I am concerned. And so it is very – I am very interested – when people say “Oh, do I NEED to think theocracy is good or bad?” Well from my point of view as an Australian, yes you do. It’s absolutely, fundamentally important, here in Australia, and throughout the Western world.

JB: Do you agree Maajid?

MN: 33% when surveyed – of Britain’s Muslims – said though they disagree with ISIS (and actually that’s how low our bar has sunk, that we think that’s somehow a definition of a moderate – even Al Qaeda disagrees with ISIS, right) but 33% of Britain’s Muslims said when polled said they support a theocratic caliphate, so of COURSE, not just Sara, not just Maajid, not just Muslims, but everyone in Britain, everyone in Australia – needs to speak out against this social ill that is theocracy, just like we all need to speak out against racism.

JB: John, I’m interested in your thoughts on this because of course Australia, I mean non-Muslim Australia, 12% of us go to church, we’re not particularly religious – a lot things to debate, a lot of these big issues, it’s kind of like, we don’t relate to this. All we wanna do is feel safe in our homes, and not feel as though somebody is going to start shooting in the middle of our city.

JS: Yeah. Well in fact, it’s interesting. On radio, whenever you say “well, actually we’re a secular country” I’ll get people ringing up saying “No we’re not. We’re actually a Christian country” and you have to explain to them “Actually no, we ARE a secular country”, which we ARE. And so I think there’s – we need to, in a whole lot of areas, stand up and say what but maybe we need also the leaders – I mean we talk about this whole chestnut of the Grand Mufti – who can’t communicate to wider Australia. Ah, and such as it is, the Muslim leadership in this country – should they be speaking out more?

MN: I want people to understand – my fellow Muslims especially – that there isn’t an EXTRA responsibility on them to apologise for terrorists –

SS: Exactly.

MN: It’s actually that, however, there’s a SOLIDARITY that people require. If somebody was racist towards me, I’d expect you to say that’s wrong, right? Likewise, in solidarity, if I reciprocate and say theocracy’s wrong as well, so that we’re all standing together and helping each other in the various discriminations that are ills in society.

JB: So we can agree that extremism be it far Right white Nationalism, or Islamist theocracy –

MN: – or Islamist theocracy. They’re all social ills that need to be challenged by EVERYONE.

JB: Well we are out of time, but Maajid Nawaz, many thanks indeed for joining us on The Drum and enjoy your time in Australia.

MN: Thank you

JB: And thank you to our panellists as well, John Stanley, Sara Saleh and Rebecca Weisser. Our website has more analysis for you. You can check it out at I hope to see you back here at the same time tomorrow night. Goodnight.