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Maajid Nawaz: Stealth Jihadist Exposed

Maajid Nawaz is a prominent “moderate” or secular Muslim and the founder of the Quilliam Foundation in Britain. His organization was featured briefly in this space two years ago, when Tommy Robinson and Kevin Carroll left the EDL and teamed up with Quilliam just before Tommy’s trial (see these three posts from October 2013 for more on Tommy Robinson and Quilliam).

The following exposé by Vikram Chatterjee examines the extensive use by Maajid Nawaz of untruths, dissimulation, evasions, and misleading statements in his writings about Islam. In these he reveals himself to be a practitioner of taqiyyatawriya, and kitman, the time-honored Islamic doctrines of lying and sacred misdirection.

Maajid Nawaz: Stealth Jihadist Exposed

by Vikram K. Chatterjee

Thanks in part to the help of Douglas Murray, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Sam Harris, Prime Minister David Cameron and others, Maajid Nawaz has acquired an undeserved reputation as a secular liberal. Despite his outward facade of secularism and liberalism, Nawaz is in fact a deeply devout Sunni Muslim supremacist, operating far behind enemy lines in the Dar al-Harb, the House of War. Nawaz, to fulfill his duties as a Muslim, is waging a campaign of stealth Jihad in order to further the cause of Islam by making himself appear friendly and open to the Infidels of the West while simultaneously carrying out a campaign of mass deception about Islam itself. His goal is to weaken any resistance to the conquest of the Infidel lands of the West by publicly spreading disinformation about the faith, about its many ways of conquest, and deceiving his audience about the doctrinal details of Islam itself. While this may seem like a preposterous claim to make, it merely reflects the ordinary reality of stealth Jihad.

In what follows, Nawaz’s campaign of deception will be demonstrated.

Maajid Nawaz’s not-so-subtle threats of decapitation

The first thing to be said is that Nawaz is easily shown to have deployed threatening, jihad-tinged language after he supposedly became a secular liberal. In July of 2012, Nawaz’s bookRadical: My Journey Out of Islamist Extremism was published by WH Allen. The book purports to be a memoir in which Nawaz describes his youth in Essex, how he joined the Sunni supremacist group Hizb ut-Tahrir, and how he became a political prisoner in Egypt where he supposedly had a revelation in which he saw that “Islamism”, or variously “Islamist extremism” was a divisive political ideology, and decided to leave it (but not, crucially, Islam itself), becoming a secular liberal. Fifteen months later, in October 2013, a year and a half after the UK publication of Nawaz’ memoir, Tommy Robinson quit the English Defense League, the organization which he started, out of fear that its ranks were swelling with neo-Nazis. He embraced Maajid Nawaz and Quilliam Foundation instead, accepting at the time their claims of secularism to be genuine. In an email obtained by Huffington Post Assistant News Editor Jessica Elgot, Nawaz described this event as the “UK’s largest right-wing street movement — the EDL — is being decapitated.”[1] (emphasis added)

Interesting choice of words, no? Why would the “former Islamist extremist” Maajid Nawaz use such threatening, jihad-tinged language? Could his secular liberalism be a clever sham? As we shall see, turning to the book he co-authored with Sam Harris, the evidence shows Nawaz is cold and calculating in his bald-faced telling of untruths, repeatedly deploying outrageous falsehoods about Islam.

The lies of Maajid Nawaz in Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue

Published in October 2015, Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue purports to be a conversation between two liberals, one an acknowledged atheist and secularist, the other a supposedly nominal Muslim. The goal of the book seems to be to find a way of talking about Islam and its attendant problems in a polite way, and search for a path for a kind of Islamic secularism. Harris, apparently convinced of Nawaz’ liberalism and secularism, entered into the “dialogue” with him in October 2014. In an article entitled “Can Liberalism Be Saved From Itself”, Harris wrote what will prove to have been a fateful sentence:

Whatever the prospects are for moving Islam out of the Middle Ages, hope lies not with obscurantists like Reza Aslan but with reformers like Maajid Nawaz.[2]

Harris called Aslan an obscurantist, yet turning to his book with Nawaz, on page 44 we find Nawaz saying, of Sayyid Qutb, the notorious Muslim Brotherhood leader, theologian and author of Milestones, and In The Shade of the Qur’an, whose zealous career was a primary force in creating the modern Islamic movements to restore the Caliphate, that “the Egyptian regime killed him for writing a book”.

This is a straightforward falsehood. Notoriously, Qutb was executed by the Egyptian state for his alleged involvement in an attempt to assassinate Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser.[3] By saying that Qutb was executed for merely writing a book, Nawaz portrays Qutb as a devout Muslim as an innocent victim, a tried and true tactic of Islamic propaganda. It seems highly unlikely that Nawaz is unaware of the real reason for Qutb’s execution, given that Nawaz spent four years at the same prison in which Qutb was held, Mazra Tora.

Moving on, on page 61 of the book, Harris brings up the important point of Qur’anic literalism:

I want to ask you about this, because my understanding is that basically all “moderate” Muslims — that is, those who aren’t remotely like Islamists, or even especially conservative, in their social attitudes — are nevertheless fundamentalists by the Christian standard, because they believe the Qur’an to be the literal and inerrant word of God.

Excellent question, Sam. Do mainstream Muslims believe that the Qur’an is the literal and inerrant word of God? What is Nawaz’s reply?

Well, Nawaz’s three-page reply on pages 61-64 gives no answer whatsoever to this question. He avoids it entirely, beginning with the evasive phrase “I think we have to be careful to avoid two mistakes…” and so on. Nawaz then goes on a curious series of tangents, offering up entertaining thoughts about the meaning of the term literal, which is apparently a big mystery. He then turns down a series of historical side tracks about the Mu’tazilites, Iranian philosophy, and the Council of Nicaea before telling us, in answer to the question of whether the Qur’an was created by God that he “won’t take theological stances here”.

Having done all that, on page 64 Nawaz drops the arresting phrase “because there is no clergy in Islam”, apparently confident that Harris and the reader have never heard of theulama. Nawaz finishes by stating that “My role is to probe and ask skeptical questions about interpretive methodology, Muslim history, identity, politics, policy, values, and morality”, a job description that apparently does not include answering straightforward questions like “Do Muslims believe that the Qur’an is the literal and inerrant word of God?” The reader ends up finding no definitive answer to this salient question, which is curious, since Nawaz is supposedly an honest secularist and liberal who should be eager to answer simple questions. That Harris cannot bring himself to press Nawaz on this important point, or catch Nawaz’s lie about there being “no clergy in Islam” demonstrates his inadequacy to the task at hand.

After a further set of comments from Harris about the nature of religious moderation and the different range of problems posed by literal readings of different religious traditions, Nawaz responds on page 69 with some apparently secular-minded comments about “sad and horrendous atrocities committed against hostages in Syria by British and European Muslim terrorists.” From the context, it appears that Nawaz is referring to Islamic State beheadings and immolations of captives, but without specific definitions of the terms used in the sentence: “hostage” and “British and European Muslim terrorists”, the statement could be read in other ways. He could just as easily be referring to bombing done by the British and French states in Syria, and using tawriya[4] to privately redefine what a “hostage” and a “European Muslim terrorist” is, so that he appears to be denouncing Islamic State atrocities, while in his own heart he actually isn’t. That may sound to some readers like a paranoid suspicion to have, but time and again we have seen Muslims appear make overtures of peace or condemnations of Muslim atrocities, employing vague language like “we condemn the killing of innocents” while not deigning to mention what is meant by the term “innocent”. Nawaz may well be up to similar shenanigans with this phrase.

On the next page, we find Nawaz saying, of Islamic reform, that “I think the challenge lies with interpretation…” In Islam, interpretation of scripture and tradition is dictated from the top down, beginning with the ulama, the clergy, who in turn are today mostly re-iterating interpretations (generally called tafsir — commentary or elucidation) that were arrived at by Muslim theologians about a thousand years ago. This class of Muslim clergy, the ulama, in turn runs the various schools where Islam is taught to Imams, qadis and the like, so that the teaching of the ulama spreads outward from the main centers of Islamic teaching, such as Al-Azhar University in Cairo, and the schools run by and for Shia clerics in Qom, Iran.

That Maajid is telling Harris that the path forward for Islamic reform is to have new ‘interpretation’ (tafsir) of scripture should be very troubling to Harris. This kind of interpretation in Islam is only permitted to the learned scholars of Islam. It is not a democratic notion, with everyday Muslims reading scripture for themselves. Rather, Nawaz’s stated position on Islamic reform is basically “let’s leave it to the ulama to give us new tafsirs. That will result in a reformed Islam.” This indicates that he is not willing to really break with orthodoxy in Islam, and make Islam open to lay Muslims to read for themselves, in their own languages, the way that William Tyndale, who was burned at the stake for daring to translate the Bible into English, insisted on for his fellow Christians.

This point of language is one that Harris appears not to understand, or doesn’t think worth discussing. Muslims don’t really read the Qur’an. Rather, they just recite it in a language they don’t understand. At no point in the book does Harris even ask Nawaz if he would encourage his fellow Muslims to read the Qur’an in a language they can actually understand, as the number of people who can actually read and understand the classical Arabic of the Qur’an is vanishingly small. Since Nawaz does not suggest this crucially important change himself, we can safely assume he does not want to break with orthodoxy and encourage Muslims to read the Qur’an in their own languages and thus be able to interpret it for themselves. From this we can see his true agenda: he wants to keep scripture, and the authority that goes with it, in the hands of the few. When it comes to interpreting the Qur’an, Nawaz is no democrat. He’s an authoritarian.

Turning to page 76, we find Nawaz repeating a falsehood told earlier:

A sensible way forward would be to establish this idea that there is no correct reading of scripture. This is especially easy for Sunnis — who represent 80 percent of the Muslims around the world — because they have no clergy.

What’s that, Maajid? Sunnis have no clergy? The American Heritage Dictionary definesclergy as:

The body of people ordained or recognized by a religious community as ritual or spiritual leaders.[5]

Turning to The Concise Encyclopedia of Islam, we find the term ‘Ulamā defined as:

Those who are recognized as scholars or authorities of the religious sciences, namely the Imāms of important mosques, Judges, teachers in religious faculties of universities and, in general, the body of learned persons competent to decide upon religious matters.[6]

That sure sounds like a clergy to me, as defined by the American Heritage Dictionary. For Sunnis today, the most important ulama institution is Al-Azhar University, unless said Sunnis accept the Islamic State’s claim to be the Caliphate.

Further down the page we find Nawaz saying the following:

What is said in Arabic and Islamic terminology is: This is nothing but your ijtihad. This is nothing but your interpretation of the texts as a whole. There was a historical debate about whether or not the doors of ijtihad were closed. It concluded that they cannot be closed, because Sunni Muslims have no clergy.

This is so outrageously dishonest that at this point, we could easily conclude that Maajid Nawaz is a stealth jihadist and basically stop reading. But we must go on. First off, ijtihaddoes NOT mean interpretation, as Nawaz indicates. For “interpretation”, the word tafsir is generally used, although it tends to mean something more like “elucidation” or “commentary”. What does ijtihad actually mean? Let’s turn again to the Encyclopaedia of Islam:

IDJTIHAD (A.), literally “exerting oneself”, is the technical term in Islamic law, first, for the use of individual reasoning in general and later, in a restricted meaning, for the use of the method of reasoning by analogy[7] (emphasis added)

So in Islam the term ijtihad (as current Romanization standards spell it) means the use of individual reasoning in religion, NOT interpretation. The use of reason is something a genuinely secular Muslim, looking to help his fellow Muslims lift themselves out of the dark ages, should be keen to promote. But rather, Nawaz is keen for Harris and the readers of this book to think that the term means “interpretation”. Why? Well it gets even worse from there, because not only does ijtihad mean something different than Nawaz is telling us, it is also the case that the doors of ijtihad are CLOSED. Contrary to what Nawaz claims in the passage quoted above, The Encyclopedia of Islam informs us that:

During the first two and a half centuries of Islam (or until about the middle of the ninth century A.D.), there was never any question of denying to any scholar or specialist of the sacred Law the right to find his own solutions to legal problems. It was only after the formative period of Islamic law had come to an end that the question of who was qualified to exercise idjtihad was raised. From about the middle of the 3rd/9th century the idea began to gain ground that only the great scholars of the past, and not the epigones, had the right to idjtihad. By the beginning of the fourth century (about A. D. 900), the point had been reached when the scholars of all schools felt that all essential questions had been thoroughly discussed and finally settled, and a consensus gradually established itself to the effect that from that time onwards no one might be deemed to have the necessary qualifications for independent reasoning in law, and that all future activity would have to be confined to the explanation, application, and, at the most, interpretation of the doctrine as it had been laid down once and for all. This “closing of the door of idjtihad”, as it was called, amounted to the demand for taklid [q.v.], the unquestioning acceptance of the doctrines of established schools and authorities. (emphases added).[8]

To summarize: the above quotation from Nawaz, found on page 76 of Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue, tells a falsehood to the reader in three important ways. First, Nawaz has carefully redefined ijtihad to mean “interpretation”, when in fact it actually means the use of one’s faculties for reason and independent thinking. Secondly, he tells us that the doors of ijtihad remained open, while in fact, it is generally said, including by the learned scholars that produced the landmark Encyclopaedia of Islam, that the doors of ijtihad have been CLOSED for about 1,100 years. Thirdly, Nawaz dissembles when he fabricates a reason to justify his fabrication about the doors of ijtihad remaining open, because Sunnis supposedly have no clergy, when they patently do, as we saw above. In Islam, the clergy is called the ulama.

On page 78, we find Nawaz, the tireless deceiver, lying again. Responding to Harris’ statement that it’s hard to read the Qur’an as justifying eating bacon, Nawaz writes:

Yes, okay. I can’t sit here and say to you that I’ve got a reading that justifies eating bacon. That’s a very good example you gave.

This too, is a piece of rank dishonesty. Nawaz’s statement makes it sound as if Muslims cannot justify eating bacon in the light of Islamic scripture, but they can. Harris does not apparently know enough about Islam to see through it. Some readers may find this a bit odd. Muslims can eat bacon? Yes they can, if their lives depend on it.

Islam comes packaged with a principle called darura, or necessity. It says that Muslims can violate just about any aspect of Sharia, if it is necessary to further the cause of Islam. If necessary, the haram can be made halal. If a Muslim lives deep behind enemy lines in the Dar al-Harb, he may consider himself to be in a war zone, and therefore see his life as permanently under threat, and thus allowed do things like drink wine and eat bacon to pass among the Infidels undetected. Turning again to the Encyclopaedia of Islam, we find:

DARURA, necessity (also idtirar), in works of fikh has a narrow meaning when it is used to denote what may be called the technical state of necessity, and a wider sense when authors use it to describe the necessities or demands of social and economic life, which the jurists had to take into account in their elaboration of the law which was otherwise independent of these factors.

I.   The state of necessity, whose effects recall those of violence, does not result from threats expressed by a person, but from certain factual circumstances which may oblige an individual, finding himself in a dangerous situation which they have brought about (shipwrecked, dying of hunger or thirst in the desert, for example), to do some action forbidden by the law, or to conclude a legal transaction on very unfavourable terms in order to escape from the danger which threatens him. The Kur’ān contains numerous verses which, directly or indirectly, legitimize on grounds of necessity certain acts which in principle are forbidden (II, 168; V, 5; VI, 119; XVI, 116). Ibn Nudiaym derived from this a maxim which became famous: al-darūrāt tubīh al-mahzūrāt, which the Ottoman Madjalla (art. 21) reproduced literally and which may be translated: “Necessity makes lawful that which is forbidden”. The effects of the state of necessity of which the writers here fixed the conditions and limits, are more or less drastic according to the domain of fikh in which they occur.
    a)   In what concerns prohibitions of a religious character (the prohibition against eating pork or dead animals, or against drinking blood or other liquids regarded as impure, for example), it is admitted without difference between the Schools, that necessity legitimizes the non-observance of these rules. It follows — and this is the opinion which has prevailed in doctrine — that one is even obliged to disregard them in a case of danger. (emphases added)[9]

So yes, Sam. Maajid Nawaz can indeed find a “reading” that justifies eating bacon. In fact, he has a robust piece of Islamic doctrine which allows him to eat bacon, a doctrine described by the Encyclopaedia as “famous” and “without difference between the Schools” of fikh, or jurisprudence. As Nawaz parades around, deep behind what he conceives of as enemy lines in the Dar al-Harb, he is free, since he views himself to be in a war zone, to drink wine, eat bacon, or what have you. Anything to pass among the Infidels, if it helps to bring about the final victory of Islam over the world.

Turning to page 107, Harris rightly brings up the doctrine of taqiyya:

Hand-waving displays of tolerance often conceal some very ugly truths — which puts one in mind of the doctrine of taqqiya, wherein it is said that Muslims are encouraged to lie to infidels whenever it serves their purpose. I hope you will enlighten me about that.

Alas, Maajid Nawaz is unable to enlighten anyone about taqiyya. Instead on page 109, he gives us the following:

The taqqiya you speak of is a Shia concept.

This lie is well worth spending time on. Firstly, let us notice that this sentence is, in and of itself, a piece of taqiyya about taqiyya. In an article entitled “Taqiyya About Taqiyya”, the greatly knowledgeable Raymond Ibrahim informs us that:

One of the few books exclusively devoted to the subject, At-Taqiyya fi’l-Islam(“Taqiyya in Islam”) make this unequivocally clear. Written (in Arabic) by Dr. Sami Mukaram, a former Islamic studies professor at the American University of Beirut and author of some twenty-five books on Islam, the book demonstrates the ubiquity and broad applicability of taqiyya in its opening pages:

    Taqiyya is of fundamental importance in Islam. Practically every Islamic sect agrees to it and practices it … We can go so far as to say that the practice oftaqiyya is mainstream in Islam, and that those few sects not practicing it diverge from the mainstream … Taqiyya is very prevalent in Islamic politics, especially in the modern era.[10] 

So taqiyya is common to both major branches of Islam, Sunni and Shia alike[11]. So gleeful is Nawaz at how easily he has duped Harris, so unable to help himself, that on the next page he states that “I could be doing taqqiya now in my explanation of what taqqiya is.” That is indeed the case. What’s more, the statement itself, “taqqiya is a Shia concept”, is deeply revealing. Not only is taqiyya NOT just a Shia concept, but one that is common to both Sunni and Shia Islam, but the statement “taqqiya is a Shia concept” is itself a piece of sectarian, anti-Shia propaganda.

Because many Infidels have come to associate the word taqiyya with the notion of Islamic deception, Nawaz has clearly deployed this phrase in order to denigrate the Shia in the mind of his audience, while at the same time drawing attention away from the Sunni practice oftaqiyya. The deployment of this phrase indicates beyond doubt that Nawaz retains his sectarian agenda behind his mask of secularism.

Maajid’s ship keeps on sinking ever lower. How low can he go? The reader may have noticed that the term taqiyya has been spelled in two different ways. In the text written by myself, readers will find that the term is always spelled T-A-Q-I-Y-Y-A, single-Q, double-Y. However, readers will also see that the quotations that come from the book co-written by Sam Harris and Maajid Nawaz are spelled T-A-Q-Q-I-Y-A, double-Q, single-Y. What accounts for this discrepancy in spelling?

As it turns out, the correct spelling, according to modern conventions of Romanization of Arabic script, is the former, with one Q and two Ys. The correct spelling of the term istaqiyya or taqiyyah . To check this, at first we will consult the useful tool created by Google, the Ngram database. Google’s Ngram database charts the frequency of terms, as printed in literature in Romanized script, over many centuries. These data have been produced from the Google Books Library Project, through which Google has scanned in and digitized literally tens of millions of books. After scanning these books in, Google used character recognition software to record the words contained therein, and then carried out statistical analysis on the appearance of words in those same books, producing chronological charts of word frequency over time. The resultant Ngram tool can chart the appearance of words in Romanized scripts over time. Looking up the charts for taqiyya, taqiyyah, taqqiya, and taqqiyah, we find that the spelling T-A-Q-Q-I-Y-A is, according to Google’s vast database, an unprecedented in print books from 1800 to 2008[12]

As the Google’s Ngram tool helpfully reports — “Ngrams not found: taqqiya, taqqiyah

In its vast catalog of words in Romanized script, Google tells us that these spellings appear nowhere. Why would these spelling variations never appear in Google’s vast Google Books Library Project database?

Could this be some mistake? Could it be some misunderstanding? For clarity, I decided to contact an expert on Arabic, someone who specializes in the reading and teaching of Arabic itself. Reached via email, Munther Younes, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Cornell University, a specialist in Arabic linguistics and the language of the Qur’an, and author or co-author of six books of Arabic language instruction, informed me that the Romanized spelling taqqiya double-Q, single-Y is “definitely an error”.[13]

This term taqqiya, with the double-Q, single-Y spelling, appears no fewer than five times inIslam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue. It appears once on page 107, once on page 109, and thrice on page 110. Why? Given what we have seen of Maajid Nawaz’s output so far, given that he appears to be a blatant liar and sectarian propagandist, we can hazard an educated guess.

Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue will be for many the first book that they read about Islam. Nawaz and company, knowing this, and having won the easy trust of Sam Harris, may have inserted this spelling in the hopes that unwitting readers would type this incorrect spelling — taqqiya double-Q single-Y — into Google, where they would, at time of writing, be greeted with the following misleading article, at the top of the search results. The article, entitled “Taqqiya — An [sic] Tactic of Lying, Concealment”, at the website of the Clarion Project, curiously lists no author. The spot near the top for the author merely lists “By ____”. No name is listed. Still more curiously, both spellings of taqqiya double-Q andtaqiyya single-Q are found in the article, which oh-so-helpfully informs us

Islamists also interpret taqiyya to permit lying about the nature of Islam to non-Muslims in order to convert them to Islam. Mainstream Muslims regard this as forbidden.

Aside from the misleading distinction between “Islamists” and “Mainstream Muslims”, both of which go undefined in this authorless article, the idea that taqiyya is employed not by “Mainstream Muslims”, but “Islamists”, in order to “convert them to Islam” is deeply misleading. The use of taqiyya, as with every other tactic of Islamic deceit and supremacism, is everywhere and always the same: to bring about the final political and religious victory of Islam over the world. Conversion into Islam is never the direct goal. Conversion is only seen as one of many tools of Jihad which, in the case of conversion into Islam, can help to further the cause of Islam by enlarging the numerical strength of the umma to assert its superiority and the dominance of Islam itself, which devout Muslims believe is destined to win dominion over the Earth.

While we cannot be sure as to the motive of Nawaz in deploying this curious misspelling oftaqiyya as taqqiya double-Q, single-Y, and those of the writers with whom he and Harris collaborated (among the names in the acknowledgements: Faisal Saeed al-Mutar, Usama Hasan, and Ali A. Rizvi), it seems plausible that Nawaz, engaged in a large and well-financed campaign of deception, has enlisted the help of a confederate at the Clarion Project website to ensure this misleading article appears at the top of the Google Search results. In addition, he and his confederates may have used some means to game the Google Search results themselves.

There are many more dishonesties and misleading statements about Islam to be found in the book, too many to catalog here. Nawaz’s “Islamism” vs “jihadism” distinction is wildly misleading. The “fatwas” issued by Sheikh “Dr.” Usama Hasan are obvious fakes, etc. Other questions come to mind. How did Harris manage to sign his name to a book about “Islam and the Future of Tolerance” which contains no mention of the other basic sources for Islam? To read the book, one would guess that Islam is based exclusively on the Qur’an and Hadith alone. No mention of the Sira, no mention of the History of Al-Tabari. The reader comes away with no knowledge of the existence of these books, let alone of their importance in Islam. Why was Ali A. Rizvi, who is supposedly an ex-Shia, willing to participate in and promote a book with an obvious piece of sectarian, pro-Sunni, anti-Shia propaganda?

How Maajid Nawaz Wages Jihad

To understand what Maajid is up to, we have to look at Qur’an 3:28 which reads:

The believers may not take the unbelievers for their allies in preference to the believers. Whoever does this has nothing to do with Allah unless he does so in order to protect himself from their wrongdoing. Allah warns to beware of Him for to Allah is the ultimate return.

Regarding Q 3:28, Mawdudi — the most revered Sunni commentator on the Qur’an of the 20th century — states, in his essential Tafhim al-Qur’an:

5)   This means that it is lawful for a believer, helpless in the grip of the enemies of Islam and in imminent danger of severe wrong and persecution, to keep his faith concealed and to behave in such a manner as to create the impression that he is on the same side as his enemies. A person whoseMuslim identity is discovered is permitted to adopt a friendly attitude towards the unbelievers in order to save his life. If he considers himself incapable of enduring the excess to which he may be subjected, he may even state that he is not a believer.[14] (emphases added)

Read carefully Mawdudi’s commentary quoted above. Whenever we read Maajid Nawaz or watch him on television, watch his actions and statements carefully, and see how they can be made to fit to what Mawdudi says is permissible for the Muslim to do, when he is deep behind enemy lines in the Dar al-Harb, as Maajid is.

For:   “Muslim identity is discovered”, read: “left hanging right out in the open and never really denied”
For:   “may even state that he is not a believer”, read: “subtly suggest that he is basically a closet atheist, even though he is really anything but” or “I’m openly not devout”
For:   “create the impression that he is on the same side as his enemies”, read: “No, my secular liberalism is not the “other extreme” to Islamism[15]

Read every word of this Facebook post from the hissing, fork-tongued Nawaz, and contemplate just how many people are deceived by him, who will continue to be deceived by him, as long as the lies exposed here go unnoticed. Read the astonishing moral arrogance displayed by Nawaz, who writes in the comments “And the mere fact that I actually have to clarify this. wow.”

Wow, indeed. This is how stealth Jihad works. Maajid is a master of the art of making himself seem friendly to Infidels and many, many people have fallen for him badly.

The Jihad that Maajid Nawaz wages is not a Jihad of the Kalashnikov or the suicide belt. It is instead a stealth Jihad. Maajid Nawaz is a deeply devout Sunni Muslim who, while deep behind enemy lines in the Dar al-Harb, wages a Jihad of mass deception against Infidels, using the Islamic doctrines of taqiyyatawriya and kitman deception. His goal is to make himself appear to be friendly to Infidels and against all bigotry and hatreds, all the while diligently working to deceive those same Infidels about the nature of the Jihad, that hydra-headed, multi-pronged instrument of warfare, which includes campaigns of religious propaganda, campaigns of deceptive speaking and writing, campaigns of da’wa, campaigns of anti-Infidel propaganda, campaigns of bribery and other financial muscle-flexing, and campaigns of Jihad by demographic conquest, embodied by polygamy and marital laws that have asymmetric inter-faith and gender rules. Nawaz is desperate that these last, non-violent aspects of Jihad remain unnoticed by the Infidels of West.

While he has often spoken with welcome accuracy about Jihad, in his capacity as Nawaz’s dupe, in serving as a launching pad for his campaign of mass deception about Islam in their book Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue, Sam Harris has been nothing short of an ally of Islam itself. To borrow a phrase from Nawaz’s ally Murtaza Husain, Glenn Greenwald’s “colleague” at The Intercept, Harris has been, to a first approximation, Maajid Nawaz’s own, personal, well-coiffed talking monkey. By failing to do due diligence about the specific doctrines of Islam itself, by failing to check Nawaz’s claims about Islam against authoritative sources on the subject, and failing to ask many important questions, he has been no foe of Jihad. He has been, rather, its unwitting accomplice.

Furthermore, Nawaz, in posing as a secularist and reformer, has doubly victimized the genuine liberals and humanists like Asra Nomani, Zuhdi Jasser, Irshad Manji, Tarek Fatah and Bassam Tibi. Now that Nawaz’s deceptions are uncovered, they will come under increased scrutiny. Some of these people, like Tarek Fatah, seem to have seen long ago that Nawaz was an imposter. Fatah is endlessly active on Twitter and Facebook, yet a look at the advanced Twitter search results for interaction between the two show that Fatah has carefully steered clear of Nawaz for four long years.[16] Fatah, greatly knowledgeable about Islam, probably saw all the telltale signs of Nawaz’s deception from afar. He has only joined Nawaz in co-signing the public statement, organized by the Gatestone Institute, and published as a full-page ad in the New York Times “What Can Muslims Do To Reclaim Their Beautiful Religion?”[17] Another liberal Muslim, Irshad Manji, has given Nawaz and Harris’ disastrously misleading book, filled with falsehoods, sectarian anti-Shia propaganda, and hugely misleading statements about Islam itself, a somewhat positive review in the New York Times.[18] We might like to ask Manji why she didn’t point out any of the obvious dishonesties in the book. Should she explain herself? We don’t need to ask. Manji is already under enormous pressure and death threats from some Muslims. She no doubt wrote the review while keenly aware of the long arms of Hizb ut-Tahrir and Islamic State, of which Nawaz is almost certainly a supporter.

Vikram K. Chatterjee is a Bengali-American writer and researcher who lives in Texas.


1.   See paragraph 6:
2   See the last paragraph:
4   Tawriya — this astonishingly deceptive Islamic tactic of deception can be thought of as deceit by secret double-entendre. Secret double-entendre works like this:

On Sunday mornings, Jack and Jill play a secret game. Jill dresses up like a French maid, and she and Jack have wild sex on the kitchen counter. They call this game “housekeeping”. Later, they go to lunch with their friends Bob and Betty. When they sit down to eat, Betty asks “What did you to do today? Bob and I planted roses in the garden.” Jill replies “oh, just a little housekeeping”, while shooting Jack a knowing glance. Bob and Betty aren’t in on the secret joke.

For more, see The Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition. Brill, 1954-2005. See the entries in Vol. 10 T-U on TAKIYYA, beginning on p. 134 and TAWRIYA, p. 395. KITMAN is also discussed in this entry.

6   The Concise Encyclopedia of Islam, p. 407. Edited by Cyril Glassé. Harper and Row, 1989.
7   The Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition. Brill, 1954-2005. See the entry in Vol. 3 H-Iram on IDJTIHAD, p. 1026.
8   The Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition. Brill, 1954-2005. See the entry in Vol. 3 H-Iram on IDJTIHAD, p. 1026.
9   The Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition. Brill, 1954-2005. See the entry in Vol. 2 C-G on DARURA, p. 163.
11   The entry TAKIYYA in the Encyclopaedia of Islam also makes it clear that the practice of dissimulation is common to both Sunni and Shia Muslims. Historically, it has been more associated with the Shia, who, being in a minority in the heartlands of Islam, have been forced to conceal their true faith from the Sunnis who, being in an overwhelming majority, have no need of hiding their agendas in those same lands. See the entry in Vol. 10 T-U on TAKIYYA, beginning on p. 134 The Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition. Brill, 1954-2005.
13   Personal correspondence. Younes’ faculty page at Cornell University here
14   Towards Understanding Islam,abridged version of Tafhim al-Qur’an, by Sayyid Maulana Abul A’la Mawdudi. UK Islamic Mission, 2007.
15   Archived at:

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Sinister and Dangerous: The Stealth Supremacism of Maajid Nawaz

by Vikram K. Chatterjee

In December of last year, Gates of Vienna published my article “Maajid Nawaz: Stealth Jihadist Exposed”, which showed how Nawaz dissimulated about key Islamic doctrines in his book with Sam Harris, Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue, and how he had deployed threatening, jihad-tinged language against Tommy Robinson. In the book, Nawaz buried the truth about: the reasons for Sayyid Qutb’s execution, the practice of taqiyya[1], the meaning of ijtihad and its status in Islam, the existence of a Sunni clergy (the ulama), and the permissibility of eating bacon in Islam, which Muslims can do, if darura, or necessity, dictates.

Alas, my article appears to have had nothing of its intended effect. Nawaz is still parading around on television and in the news media, posing as a liberal. Those who read Counterjihad sites like Gates of Vienna, Counter Jihad Report, Vlad Tepes Blog and the like saw the article, but journalism of this kind appears to be automatically confined to some taboo fringe of Western politics. It is deemed racist to bring an understanding of Islam to journalism and political commentary, and thus, Gates of Vienna articles go unnoticed, the truths they tell unknown. The rest of the Western political sphere chatters on in ignorance. They prate, and they prattle, and all the while Islam marches on.

Because of this disappointing result, and in the interests of keeping this story afloat, I would like to offer some additional analysis of Nawaz, in order to sharpen up our picture of how he is deceiving people.

How Maajid Nawaz Deploys Stealth Supremacism

In the mode of stealth jihad, the Muslim does not go around openly telling Infidels that he and his religion, and those who practice it, are superior. That is what the stealth jihadist believes, but he is not going to say it outright. If Nawaz came to people saying “I’m the Grand Mufti of such-and-such”, people would be immediately suspicious:

So instead, Nawaz must try for more subtle and devious tactics. How would he go about doing this? To see how, let us turn to the Holy Qur’an:

It is He who expelled the ones who disbelieved among the People of the Scripture from their homes at the first gathering. You did not think they would leave, and they thought that their fortresses would protect them from Allah; but [the decree of] Allah came upon them from where they had not expected, and He cast terror into their hearts [so] they destroyed their houses by their [own] hands and the hands of the believers. So take warning, O people of vision.

— Qur’an 59:2, Sahih International Version

In the above verse, the “People of the Scripture” is the Qur’an’s term primarily for Jews and Christians. They are “those who disbelieved” among the People of the Scripture. In Islam, the view of Judaism and Christianity is that these faiths are corruptions of Islam. Abraham, Moses, Noah, and Jesus were Muslims, and the religion they preached was Islam, and the scripture of Judaism and Christianity was originally the Qur’an. Later, their followers corrupted this scripture, and the result was the Bible.

Nawaz is operating in lands where Christianity and Judaism are the predominant faiths, for now. The above verse says Nawaz’s god, Allah “came upon them from where they had not expected”, and that “they destroyed their houses by their [own] hands”. The message of this verse is that the Infidel enemies of Islam will be attacked from a place they had not expected, and that in this way they will bring about their own defeat.

This passage is the key to understanding Nawaz’s stealth supremacism. What Nawaz and his accomplices (both witting and unwitting) do is to subtly suggest that he is to be thought of as being in position of authority. How does he do that?

At the Quilliam Foundation website, one can see how the organization bills itself by clicking on the “About” section at the top, where we can read that:

Quilliam is the world’s first counter-extremism think tank..

This sentence at first seems harmless, but if we take some time to analyze it, we can detect some sinister architecture. When Maajid Nawaz goes on his TV appearances, his book tours and conference events, he gets introduced by the host in a way that generally sounds like this:

“Joining us is Maajid Nawaz, founder of Quilliam Foundation, the world’s first counter-extremism think tank.”

The first thing to be noticed about this sentence is the bizarre piece of jargon, “counter-extremism think tank”. If you’ve read a lot of the crap that mainstream commentators on Islamic terrorism say, you no doubt have come across terminology such as “extremism”, and “sectarianism”, and “radicalization”, and the like. Notice that any of these words could be substituted in to the above sentence, and the meaning of the sentence would be scarcely altered. Quilliam Foundation, the world’s first counter-extremism think tank, could also be called:

  • the world’s first counter-radicalization think tank
  • the world’s first counter-sectarianism think tank
  • the world’s first counter-supremacism think tank
  • the world’s first counter-Islamism think tank

Any of these descriptors would work for Quilliam’s purposes, and we wouldn’t notice the difference. This jargon-laden, muddled and vague descriptor “counter-extremism think tank” is designed to be forgettable and uninformative, while at the same time it subtly reminds the reader of Islam, which is associated in the minds of the Infidel audience with “extremism” (i.e. Jihad terror). What is memorable about the sentence, however, is that Maajid is being described as a founder of something — what ever that vague and unmentioned something is — which is to be thought of as the world’s first.

This is the language of stealth supremacism. What the “world’s first” in Quilliam’s self-description is referring to, subliminally, is Islam. Islam goes unmentioned, because Quilliam practices stealth jihad. In the place of “Islam”, the vague and forgettable “counter-extremism think tank” is inserted. Notice also that the “world’s first” also conforms with the Islamic notion that Islam was the original religion of all mankind, before others corrupted Allah’s will and produced the Bible.

When Maajid is described by an Infidel TV host as being the “founder” of the “world’s first” something-or-other, the host is unwittingly suggesting to his Infidel audience that Maajid is a Founder of Things. A Beginner of Things. An Important Man. That he is to be respected. That his opinions are correct. That he is to be thought of as being in a position of authority. A position which he holds as being a part of something — whatever that vague and unmentioned something is — that is the “world’s first”. But it’s not a counter-something-or-other think tank. It is Islam.

Thus, when the Infidel host unwittingly springs this subliminally supremacist language upon his Infidel audience, “Allah came upon them from where they had not expected” in accordance with the prophecy of Qur’an 59:2, quoted above. The Infidels at home might be expecting Maajid to trumpet his supremacy himself, but, they will not be expecting their fellow Infidel to be unwittingly trumpeting his supremacy for him. This action happens in a subtle and indirect way, fooling the audience in a way that also conforms to this scripture, in which the disbelievers “destroyed their houses by their [own] hands and the hands of the believers.” That is Qur’an 59:2 in action.

Another example of Maajid’s stealth supremacism can be seen on his Facebook page. Take a good look at this picture, and ask yourself: what are you looking at?

At first glance, it appears that Maajid is attending some kind of pro-Malala protest (and perhaps indeed it is real). The young men are lined up, holding a picture of Malala Yousefzai. From the apparel of the protesters, the photo appears to have been taken in Pakistan — the young man on the right is dressed in a way that screams “sub-continental middle class”. The protesters are lined up, and Maajid walks by, with a look of sad determination on his face.

So, it look like a protest for Malala. But there is another way of interpreting the photo. Although the people are standing in a haphazard way, not in any particular posture, they are all standing in a line. And Maajid is walking by them, his head up high. If one looks at it, keeping in mind his sinister record that I documented in my previous article, the photo appears to suggest that Maajid is to be thought of as a military leader. The young men are lined up, standing to attention, and Maajid walks by confidently, a general inspecting his troops. A man to be feared.

One would not normally expect a photo of Muslims at what appears to be pro-Malala protest to have a subliminal suggestion of Islamic militancy, but then, Allah works in mysterious ways, and occasionally he “came upon them from where they had not expected, and He cast terror into their hearts.” One could easily disagree with my interpretation, but in my view, the photo above is an example of Q 59:2 in action.

Another example of this kind of subliminal supremacism may be found in the video of the event at Harvard that launched the book Nawaz wrote with Sam Harris. Although I will not adduce the evidence for this here, I believe that for at least two years Harris been the target of a highly sophisticated campaign of deception, organized by the international pan-Sunni supremacist group, Hizb ut-Tahrir, and its front organization, the Quilliam Foundation. Long before Harris met Nawaz, Nawaz and his accomplices had studied Harris. They read his books, and read the books mentioned in his bibliographies, and from there they were able to infer what Harris did, and did not know, about Islam. Then they went about carefully deceiving him with a series of articles written by “Muslim atheists”, who he then followed on twitter, and they were able to share links by or about Nawaz with him there, insinuating him into Harris’ circle of contacts.

From there, they were able to induce Harris into having a “conversation” with Maajid Nawaz, producing their book, and then using the book and book tour events and media appearances to shop Nawaz around the globe to Infidel audiences, eager to find a friendly face among Muslims. Nawaz is using Harris and his imprimatur as a respected liberal intellectual as a springboard for a campaign of mass deception about Islam, delivered in the book and other media. A host of articles have been produced by Maajid’s accomplices, both witting and unwitting, which serve to bolster his reputation as an alleged liberal. The swirl of puff piecesand feigned attacks on him in various online media form part of a Good Cop/Bad Cop routine put on by Muslims (and their unwitting accomplices) in order to deceive Infidels.

Maajid and his accomplices have worked a wonder on Sam Harris, subtly implanting in his mind the notion that Maajid is to be thought of as being in a position of authority, and getting him to think so highly of Nawaz that he is even unwittingly suggesting this same sinister notion to his tens of thousands of fans. The screenshot below is of the Harvard event. To watch the segment, queued from 16:21, click the link below and finish at 18:10. While you’re watching, listen for Harris saying the following:

  • “I’ll let Maajid decide”
  • “We have different instincts, Maajid and I, here, and my instincts for many conversations are now to defer to Maajid’s instincts”
  • “If anything my views and my way of speaking about this problem have been more modified then Maajid’s by our collaboration”

Click here to watch from 16:21 through 18:10

In all three of these statements, Harris is unwittingly suggesting to the Infidels in the audience that Nawaz is a man whose opinions are to be consulted, that his ideas are better than those of the Infidel Harris, who, himself respected by the Infidels in the audience, in turn confers respectability upon Nawaz. Harris defers to Nawaz, and so, some Infidels will think, should they as well. These statements, made by Infidel Harris to his Infidel audience, subtly suggest that Maajid is to be thought of as being in a position of authority, that he is to be obeyed. In this devious and indirect way, one of the most prominent critics of Islam on the planet, Sam Harris, has been unwittingly dragooned into the Army of Islam.

Vikram K. Chatterjee is a Bengali-American writer and researcher who lives in Texas. Previously: Maajid Nawaz: Stealth Jihadist Exposed


1.   If anyone still doubts that Sunnis practice taqiyya, he need only consult the revered Sunni theologian Ibn Kathir to have his view of the matter clarified. In his Tafsir Ibn Kathir, he comments on Qur’an 3:28, saying:

In this case, such believers are allowed to show friendship to the disbelievers outwardly, but never inwardly. For instance, Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Ad-Darda’ said, “We smile in the face of some people although our hearts curse them.’’ Al-Bukhari said that Al-Hasan said, “The Tuqyah is allowed until the Day of Resurrection.’’

The Academic scholar of Islam Devin Stewart has published an incredibly useful 43-page paper entitled “Dissimulation in Sunni Islam and Morisco Taqiyya”. This paper adduces an unanswerable mountain of evidence for Sunni taqiyya.

Imagine what damage he can do with an extra $3.375 million.


For today it has been announced that the SPLC has been forced to pay $3.375 million to the British Muslim reformist and anti-extremism campaigner Maajid Nawaz.'


Although i don't like Maajid  - I'm glad he has successfully sued the SPLC, a shakedown organisation that has continually harassed nationalists, I hope many others join suite and sue them.


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