Please sign this petition to have Maajid Nawaz removed from his post as the Liberal Democrats' Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn. We have raised this petition because of the offensive and disrespectful images Maajid Nawaz has posted on facebook and twitter of the Prophet's Muhammad and Jesus (peace be upon them).
Remember to forward to all your contacts - details on how to easily share via facebook are in the news section below.
For every individual that signs this petition a copy of the letter at the bottom of this page will be emailed directly to Jeanne Tarrant, complaints co-ordinator at Liberal Democrat headquarters J.Tarrant@libdems.org.uk and Nick Clegg, Leader of the Liberal Democrats at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contrary to reports in various online/offline media outlets and blog posts, this petition is in no manner connected, instigated or backed by any political figure or campaign. For the avoidance of doubt, this is entirely a non partisan, independent effort initiated by the balanced, middle ground Muslims of the UK. We agree with the principles of respect and tolerance. Maajid Nawaz is free to express himself however he wishes. The point of contention is not his right to express himself nor is it the purpose of this petition to restrict anybody's right to do so.
Rather, the purpose is to highlight to the Liberal Democrats that by choosing to exercise that right in an irresponsible, inconsiderate and flagrant manner, Maajid Nawaz, as a representative of the Liberal Democrats, has caused immense offence and disrespect to the religious beliefs and sentiments of all those signing this petition.
Prior to the initiation of this petition members of the public contacted Maajid Nawaz expressing how insulted they were by his actions. The reasonable expectation being that Nawaz, as a mature and responsible would-be parliamentarian, would be empathetic to the feelings of those he claims to speak on behalf of and would either apologise for any offence caused and/or retract his comments and posts. Instead the Liberal Democrats PPC for Hampstead and Kilburn chose to react in a disgraceful manner by responding to the valid concerns of members of the public by telling them to “p*** off”, “f*** off”, brazenly goading them and declaring “I don't give a ****” and “f*** all y’all”. Maajid Nawaz, through these actions, clearly exhibited that he completely and utterly disregards the sentiments, sensitivities and beliefs of others and thereby disqualified himself from holding a position of representation or authority.
The opportunity for expression of regret was afforded to Maajid Nawaz with a gesture founded in a sincere and genuine desire by the public to reconcile. However, given the obscene reaction by Nawaz that time and opportunity has now passed. The undersigned now call for nothing short of a complete removal of Maajid Nawaz from his post and expulsion from the party for breaching its code of conduct and bringing it into disrepute. If Maajid Nawaz is not removed the only inference to be made will be that the Liberal Democrats condone, support and tacitly approve of his actions and are apathetic to the disrespect and offence he has caused to the religious sentiments of all those signing this petition.
In addition to the above, it is worth noting that this issue is not an isolated matter. Nawaz and the organisation which he co-founded and remains a part of, the Quilliam Foundation (“QF”), have engaged in McCarthyite smear tactics by misaligning peaceful Muslim groups with terrorist groups without credible evidence. The QF has made a lucrative living from their toxic briefings to the UK Government, benefiting from what has become known as the ‘Islamophobia Industry’ whilst driving a wedge between communities. Moreover, the QF works collaboratively with many neo-con right-wing groups and has been parroting right-wing narratives against Muslims over the years. It is a complete paradox and absurdity that the Director and co-founder of an organisation that has worked closely with and that has extensive links to right wing think tanks such as the Henry Jackson Society can also be a parliamentary candidate for the Liberal Democrats.
We the undersigned seek a declaration that our complaint is well founded and call for the removal of Maajid Nawaz as PPC for Hampstead and Kilburn and expulsion from the Liberal Democrats for disrespecting the religious beliefs and sentiments of the undersigned aswell as countless more Muslims and Christians in the UK and abroad. In doing so he has brought the party into disrepute and is in breach of article 3.7b of the Federal Constitution of the Liberal Democrats.
The basis of the complaint is that Maajid Nawaz's recent activity on social media outlets FaceBook and Twitter have been both disrespectful and offensive to the Muslim community in the UK and abroad and the Islamic faith at large. It is my assertion that through his posting and association with derogatory and disrespectful cartoons of the Prophet Jesus and Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon them) Maajid Nawaz is in breach of Article 3.1(b) of the Federal Constitution that states:
“As a Member of the Liberal Democrats, you must treat others with respect and must not bully, harass or intimidate any Party member, member of Party staff, member of Parliamentary staff, Party volunteer or member of the public. Such behaviour will be considered to be bringing the Party into disrepute.”
and hence the Party must take punitive action ideally through disassociating itself with Mr Nawaz by removing him from his position as PPC for Hampstead and Kilburn.
Putting aside legislation, it's technicalities and likely controversies in this area. Let's reference ethics, codes of conduct, civilised behaviour, and normative decency. Let me ask first;
1. Is it right that the depictions of Ann Frank in bed with Hitler were censored in the west for being utterly offensive and distasteful to the Jewish community?
2. Is it right that questioning the official 6 million figure in favour of e.g. 4 million, is tantamount to Holocaust Denial which is a criminal offence in Europe?
3. Was is right that the play Behzti was cancelled due to the sensitivities in the Sikh community?
4. Or that the poem "Education for Leisure" was removed from the AQA's (Assessment and Qualifications Alliance - an Awarding Body for GCSEs and A-Levels) Anthology, after complaints were received?
5. Was it right that Russell Brand had scorn poured on him, and faced disciplinary action for revealing on live radio (for entertainment purposes) to a grandfather that he had slept with his granddaughter?
6. Was it right that 2 Australian radio DJs lost their jobs for making a prank call to a hospital nurse treating Kate Middleton, pretending to be the Queen? They had no idea that the nurse in question would consequently commit suicide, and intended it only to be a joke.
Would (if they were eligible and willing) the authors of any of the above offences be considered as parliamentary candidates for the Liberal Democrats, or any mainstream political party? I suggest not, simply on the grounds of respect, decency, and lastly (probably not least) party image.
So how is it sustainable that the Liberal Democrats maintain their selected candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn, Maajid Nawaz, while he tweets images from and promotes a cartoon series (Jesus and Mo) which he is well aware contains many highly offensive images of Jesus and Muhammad including homo-erotic scenes of them in bed together, being at bars together drinking alcohol using foul language, and reading pornographic magazines, among many other clearly offensive images, offensive to both faiths.
Mr Nawaz would have you believe he posted an innocuous image, when in reality he promoted the series by linking to it's official page and naming it (Jesus and Mo). The party should consider if Mr Nawaz was aware of the consequences of his actions as an individual that claims to be a Muslim, and the extreme amount of insult, hurt, and anguish he knew he would cause, let alone the expected, suspected wanted, reaction from the minority of unhinged in those communities. If he was aware then how can an individual that is prepared to offend such large swathes of minority communities be considered an acceptable candidate for a local leadership role? Alternately if he was unaware, then is an individual that is so lacking in judgement and insight into the sensitivities of his constituents be trusted to hold a leadership role and all the responsibilities that come attached to it?
Is it right, fair, decent, ethical or honourable if a parliamentary candidate very intentionally baits, or offends a whole community or courts such controversy, seeking some sort of hyper-liberal martyrdom? If he had reposted the images of Anne Frank in bed with Hitler would this discussion be any different? should it be so?
It should also be noted that when questioned by members of the public on his posting of the images Mr Nawaz only served to bring the Party into further disrepute with his responses, a selection of which follow (screenshots available on request):
“offence?? Get the F**** off my timeline if you're offended. I'm not, and he's MY prophet too”
“oh P*** off bro, its MY timeline, I can do what I want on it”
“If you dont like an inoffensive, rather polite cartoon, I don't give a **** get the **** off my timeline. Why did I post it? Who gives a ****!”
“Ha ha!! As @IceCube once said in the intro skit to “Amerikkka's Most Wanted”, while on death row. “F*** all y'all” #Radical”
The Liberal Democrats have, in the past few years, made great strides in showing goodwill and support in reaching out to the British Muslim Community both through their leadership, Nick Clegg, and on a local level through the stellar work done by individual councillors such as Sarah Teather and David Ward who both continue to show exemplary connection, empathy and leadership of their communities unlike Mr Nawaz.
Mr Nawaz's actions fall far short and run contrary to the conciliatory tone adopted by the Party at large and have clearly bought the Party into disrepute and run the risk of tarnishing the positive work it has done in the recent past and alienating its Muslim supporters. I have no doubt as to the impact this cartoon saga instigated by Mr Nawaz will have on the attitudes of Muslims in Britain and the degree to which the party will lose the respect, support and reputation it has worked so hard to achieve unless responsible action is taken by it to disassociate itself from Mr Nawaz by removing him from his position as PPC for Hampstead and Kilburn.