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July 13, 2022updated 07 Oct 2022 7:09am

What happened to Maajid Nawaz? Where the ex-LBC host went next

By Silvia Pellegrino

Former radio presenter Maajid Nawaz is now promoting freedom of speech following his departure from broadcaster LBC.

Who is Maajid Nawaz?

Maajid Nawaz is a British radio presenter and activist who worked for LBC from 2016 to the beginning of 2022. He was born to Pakistani parents in Southend in 1977.

Before joining LBC, Nawaz had a varied career.

According to The Guardian, on 10 September 2001, he arrived in Egypt with the plan of staying there for a year to learn Arabic.

After the US terror attacks of 11 September 2001, Nawaz was arrested by the security services for being a member of the “Party of Liberation” – Hizb-ut-Tahrir – and had to spend the next four years in jail in Egypt.

Again according to The Guardian, he began to question his beliefs while in jail and renounced his membership of Hizb-ut Tahrir upon his release from prison.

In 2006, Nawaz returned to Britain to work as an expert on how to prevent and combat radicalisation and advised then UK prime minister David Cameron.

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In 2008, Nawaz created an anti-extremist movement with Ed Husain – a friend and a former Islamist, too. They called it the Quilliam Foundation, and its launch party was thrown at the British Museum.

Nawaz has since given Ted talks, worked as a political consultant and stood for UK Parliament, losing out in the 2015 election when he ran as a Liberal Democrat MP. He lost the race for the Hampstead and Kilburn seat to Labour’s Tulip Siddiq.

In 2016, he started his career as a radio presenter for national UK talk radio station LBC. His show was on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

Why did Maajid Nawaz leave LBC?

In January 2022, LBC said in a statement: “Maajid Nawaz’s contract with LBC is up very shortly and following discussions with him, Maajid will no longer present a show on LBC with immediate effect. We thank Maajid for the contribution he has made to LBC and wish him well.”

Nawaz responded by saying: “I did not quit,” after saying that his contract was not due to expire until April 2022.

During the coronavirus pandemic, Nawaz’s views were seen as controversial.

When the booster vaccines roll-out was implemented, one of his tweets referred to a link that talked about mandatory vaccinations for over-50s in Italy with the caption “… a global palace coup that suspends our rights… by a network of fascists who seek a New World Order”. This tweet in January 2022 fell on the first anniversary of the US Capitol being stormed by former president Donald Trump’s supporters.

Nawaz also claimed on Twitter that the US elections were rigged and impacted by a lot of “very dodgy” events.

His departure from LBC was announced shortly after he tweeted that the storming of the US Capitol was organised by anti-fascist groups and not by Trump supporters.

Nawaz has also previously shared his mistrust of the efficacy of vaccination and his belief that “natural immunity” was a safer option.

“I have had no choice but to become a CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTOR in #solidarity with the UNVACCINATED. I will NOT be getting any BOOSTERS,” he also tweeted, before the news of his career with LBC ending.

One of the broadcaster’s presenters, Iain Dale, shared his disagreement with Nawaz by saying: “In 11 years on LBC I have never publicly called out a fellow presenter. But I can’t stand by while this sort of irresponsible and dangerous propaganda is spread by someone who ought to know better…”

Where is Maajid Nawaz working now?

Nawaz signed a partnership with American Free speech social media GETTR a month after his departure from LBC.

His job on the platform is to produce exclusive content – videos and live streams – “without the threat of censorship or cancellation”.

His Twitter bio states he is “resisting the democratisation of truth”, which is in line with the ideals behind GETTR. The platform is an alternative to Twitter, popular among many conservative politicians, including Trump.

In February 2022, Nawaz also conducted a campaign against Spotify, accusing it of censorship after his interview with Joe Rogan (who has one of the most popular podcasts in the US). However, after his 3-week campaign to get it released, it went on to become the most watched episode all year.

On 6 July 2022, Maajid Nawaz announced new episodes of his lifestyle show “Warrior Creed” on GETTR. It will be an “interactive live event, focusing on conversations, appearances and physical & spiritual training,” he explained on Twitter.

Maajid Nawaz has an email newsletter on Substack which is said to have thousands of subscribers. Titles of his newsletters on the platform include: “Vaccine Coercion & Medical Fascism” and “The Return of Nazism”.

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