Quilliam Director Maajid Nawaz spoke at Capitol Hill Washington on a Counter-Terrorism panel on 23rd September 2008. He was a respondent on a panel entitled “The Jihadists’ Revolt Against Al Qaeda: Why Some of Al Qaeda’s Old Allies Have Turned Against It”, with Peter Bergen of the New America Foundation, Paul Cruickshank from the Center on Law and Security at the NYU School of Law, and Evan Kohlmann of the Nefa Foundation. The event was hosted by Andrew Cochran, editor of the well respected Counter-Terrorism Blog.
Maajid Nawaz responded to comments made by the panel by welcoming the Jihadist revolt against Al Qaeda, but cautioned that Jihadists who recant terrorism may still advocate the Islamist ideology. Hence, the strategic gain made by publicising Jihadist recantations must be balanced against the ideological loss of promoting Islamism as an antidote to terrorism.
Maajid further cautioned that the solution to terrorism is not Islamist extremism and radicalization, as it was Islamism that gave birth to Jihadist terrorism in the first instance.