On 26th September 2008, Quilliam Director Maajid Nawaz addressed a roundtable hosted by the Chicago Council for Global Affairs (formerly known as the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)). The event was so well attended that the number of allocated seats was not sufficient, with people having to make alternative seating arrangements.
Maajid spoke about his time growing up in Essex, England, and the alienation he encountered in his own country as a teenager. When recounting his story, Maajid touched upon the role of ideology in turning local grievances into being perceived as part of a global conflict.
The presentation was followed by a riveting Q&A session with foreign policy experts, practitioners and activists asking questions related to Western Islam, how it can be facilitated and who speaks in its name. Questions were also asked about the successes of the nascent counter-islamist phenomenon amongst Muslims, and how it could be replicated in the US.