Activist, author and former Islamist, Maajid Nawaz joined me for the fourth episode of the show. I'd been familiar with Maajid's work for some time but became more interested in him after my sit down with Sam Harris. With some of the fallout from the interview with Sam that I mentioned before, having Maajid on just a few weeks after was the perfect fit.
Maajid discussed his personal journey from Islamist to reformer as well as the challenges that now face him from the Muslim community, the far right and the far left. It should be noted that Maajid is the one who coined the term 'Regressive Left' though Bill Maher mistakenly gave Sam Harris credit for it. We cleared that up as well as talked about what Maajid refers to as 'The Voldemort Effect', wherein people are afraid to label Islamic extremism because they think it will unfairly condemn an entire religion.
My main takeaway from the chat with Maajid was that he is exactly the type of person whose voice needs to be heard. He's standing up for every liberal principle in the book and thus taking fire from all sides. He's branded a traitor by some in the Muslim community, he's not radical enough for those on the right, and he's slandered by those on the left. Despite all that he bravely carries a message of coexistence and understanding.
Even in the last week I've seen the onslaught of unfair attacks Maajid is subjected to on Twitter. If you want to really understand what the Regressive Left is all about, just see what these people say to and about Maajid. This man is nobody's 'porch monkey' and he's far braver than any of these online warriors ever could hope to be.
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