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UK Politics

Former Islamist Maajid Nawaz to fight marginal parliamentary seat for Lib Dems in 2015 election


A former activist in the radical Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahrir has been chosen to fight a marginal parliamentary seat for the Liberal Democrats.

Maajid Nawaz renounced his past and called for a “secular Islam” six years ago, helping to set up the Quilliam Foundation, a counter-extremism think-tank.

He was selected to contest the north London constituency of Hampstead and Kilburn, a three-way marginal currently held by Labour’s Glenda Jackson with a majority of just 42.

Mr Nawaz became involved with Hizb ut-Tahrir after suffering violent racism during his childhood in Essex.

His involvement with the hardline organisation led to his arrest and imprisonment in Egypt when he visited as part of his degree from the University of London.

During his four years in jail, he claims faced death threats, suffered sleep deprivation techniques and was forced to listen to other prisoners being tortured.

He quit Hizb ut-Tahrir a year after his return to Britain and has since appeared regularly on television.

Mr Nawaz, who is 35, said: I am looking forward to running for public office. Quilliam will remain a priority for me because its values shape my beliefs and outlook.”