On the evening of Thursday 18 July 2013 Quilliam’s Co-Founder and Chairman Maajid Nawaz was selected as the Liberal Democrat Candidate for London’s Hampstead and Kilburn Parliamentary constituency, to run in the 2015 General Election. London’s Hampstead & Kilburn constituency is one of the narrowest three way marginals in the country.
Maajid Nawaz will run in his personal capacity, as a member of the Liberal Democrat Party. In running for the Liberal Democrats, Mr Nawaz continues his political journey from a former leading member of a radical organisation towards liberal democratic values. He will remain Chairman of Quilliam and is committed to its cross-party values and mission of countering extremism, promoting pluralism, inspiring change and seeding democratic culture. Quilliam supports its Chairman’s personal decision but is neither involved in his political campaign, nor will it ever be officially affiliated with any political party.
Quilliam is the world’s first counter-extremism think tank set up to address the unique challenges of citizenship, identity, and belonging in a globalised world. Quilliam stands for religious freedom, equality, human rights and democracy. Quilliam is an independent issues-based think-tank. We are not a mass movement actively seeking mass support nor are we a religious organisation seeking to preach. Our aspiration is to inspire new thought-trends for existing grassroots bodies. We cooperate with Muslims and non-Muslims of any political affiliation at a grassroots level in order to achieve this. Likewise, we are not aligned to any particular political or religious group, and individuals within Quilliam have always had a range of political, religious and other beliefs. However, we are proud of our healthy and long-lasting relationship with all major political parties in the United Kingdom as they continue to share our values.
Maajid Nawaz co-founded the organisation with a member of the Labour party, Ed Husain, five years ago. His candidacy for the Liberal Democrats in Hampstead and Kilburn does not change his commitment to a cross-party approach, nor his dedication to this organisation. Promoting a human rights led grassroots culture will always remain his deeply held passion. We do anticipate that in a professional capacity, his day-to-day executive role may change if he were to be elected for Parliament in May 2015.
Maajid Nawaz, Chairman of Quilliam said:
‘Following my confirmation as the Liberal Democrat candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn, I am looking forward to running for public office. Quilliam will remain a priority for me because its values shape my beliefs and outlook’.
Noman Benotman, President of Quilliam said:
‘We assure all friends and supporters of Quilliam that we will continue to challenge extremism, promote pluralism and inspire change in a non-partisan capacity. Mr Nawaz’s political career with the Liberal Democrats will not affect the values and relationships that Quilliam has strived to develop. On the contrary, his increasingly public role will certainly help to shine a greater spotlight on the issues that he and Quilliam care passionately about, and will open up many more opportunities to have those values heard’.
During the last five years, Quilliam has successfully built and maintained healthy and trusting relationships with other think-tanks, governments, institutions, businesses and individuals all around the world. We have developed a reputation for integrity and transparency when tackling all problems and look forward to continuing this with much more potency in the future. This news is a great step forward for Quilliam’s agenda of supporting positive voices in the public sphere who promote better integration and social cohesion.