Events are spinning out of control for Quilliam co-founder Maajid Nawaz. His foundation’s “research” on sexual exploitation by so-called “grooming gangs” has been not merely questioned, but dismissed. His defence of that “research” has ranged from silence to deflection. And now his bullying and dishonesty could be about to get him into serious trouble. If only he could just hold his hands up and admit Quilliam got this one wrong.
Instead, the dishonesty has had projection added to it as Nawaz flails around trying to play the victim over the whole mess - a mess entirely of his making. That occurred as he tried to blame singer and campaigner Lily Allen for his problems.
“I founded @QuilliamOrg & am a Brit-Pakistani. CEO & co-author of report is @HarasRafiq another Brit-Pakistani, co-author @MunaZainab is also Brit-Pakistani. And you Lily, with your saviour-complex & pop-star privilege,want to pick on 3 Pakistanis trying to improve our own community?” Ms Allen had merely said she did not consider the Quilliam “research” to be up to the mark. She had said nothing more.
Nawaz, though, was by now also going after his fellow LBC presenter Matthew Stadlen, accusing him of bullying. Stadlen was not happy. “Excuse me? Bullying? Please withdraw that question, Maajid. I asked politely and - on your advice - about criticism of the Quilliam report. Muna and I have been in touch by DM and email and are on good terms”.
Nawaz then segued into yet another dishonest attack on Ms Allen. “Withdraw my question? I was asking whether the allegation here made was accurate, as it’s the ‘first I’ve heard of it’. Thank you for answering. I will now ask Muna. She & Haras have been viscously attacked by a mob raised by Lily Allen’s 5.6million and I will not stand for that”.
And on he went: “.@lilyallen tweets me, blocks me after 1 reply, yet she’s *still* going at me from behind her blockage. Seriously dude, enough with your white saviour complex & alternative facts. Over representation of Brit-Paks in rape-gangs is a thing. And we’re the Brit-Paks here,not you”. I will say this only once: that British people of Pakistani heritage wrote the Quilliam “research” does not mean it is right.
Ms Allen was by now tiring of Nawaz’ vicious dishonesty. “Can’t see your name here, why are you lying? And then playing the victim? You came hurling insults at me for daring to question Quilliam’s research, that’s why I blocked you, I don’t want, need or deserve to see abuse on my timeline. I’m literally not going at you, so please stop”. She then made her position crystal clear: “Literally not said anything about him”.
This was just the signal for Nawaz to double down on victimhood and projection. “When a pop star with 5.6m followers openly bullies a British Pakistani woman (working on my behalf) speaking out against gangs of organised rapists in our own community, who is a survivor of one such brief experience, forgive me for defending the weak here (clue: not the pop star)”. An exasperated Ms Allen observed “Literally just making things up now”.
One Tweeter had to point out “Ermmm Maajid with all due respect Lily has literally not made any comments about you or Muna. No one is diminishing anyone’s experience of anything”. It made no difference. Nawaz’ bullying just rolled right along.
“Shame on you @lilyallen for rabble rousing your 5.6 million followers to silence this Pakistani woman and her lived experience. And shame on your posh socialist ‘activdemic’ friends in elite universities. We live this life, while you fret, preen & try to sing songs. Shame on you”. Nawaz went to an elite University.
Meanwhile, another Tweeter had seen enough, and advised Ms Allen “this is twitter harassment & borderline stalking by maajid”. She confirmed “Lawyers have been notified”.
Seriously, Lily Allen has done no more than pass one adverse comment on the Quilliam “research”, which is now being taken apart - but by others who specialise in research. Maajid Nawaz’ obsessive pursuit of Ms Allen is not merely creepy and gratuitous, it is bang out of order. He’s been put on the spot on that “research”, which is being weaponised by the far right in order to demonise Muslims - including those Nawaz claims to represent.
So perhaps he could stick to the point and answer the question. Just a thought.
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