The article was titled “LBC’s Maajid Nawaz’s fascination with conspiracies raises alarm … The radio host has been criticised for his tweets on the coronavirus and US elections”, going on to tell that Nawaz “has alarmed former admirers and academics with his interest in conspiracy theories about the lockdown and voter fraud in the US election on his Twitter account”. Prof Matthew Feldman considered Nawaz’ recent actions concerning.
“He is certainly not the most concerning by a long shot, but has been posting really mischievous stuff online since Trump’s defeat. His big following means his words have impact because of some of the things he retweets and it is quite possible he does not realise that”, but he was not universally critical. “It is sad, as I am an admirer of much of the magnificent work he’s done recently on the treatment of the Uighurs”.
Nawaz’ reaction has been to attack GMG. “MY FULL POINT-BY-POINT RESPONSE TO YESTERDAY’S [Guardian] SMEAR AGAINST ME”, telling “I believe that the Guardian failed in what they sought to achieve here: seeking to force LBC’s hand to dismiss their only full time ethnic-minority broadcaster, all while preaching the virtue of empowering minority voices in public life”. Seeking to force LBC’s hand? Reaching, much?
There was more. “The damage this national newspaper sought to do by such targeted harassment is serious enough..But the response must be so robust that it leaves you in absolutely no doubt just how sinister a campaign this was”. He dismisses the Observer article as “that factually bereft hatchet job”. And on he went.
“Dear Guardian editor-in-chief [Kath Viner] & Observer editor [Paul Webster] please take my reply via the link below as a formal complaint. Read my response to your paper’s targeted harassment of me & attempts to cancel me at [LBC]. I will be making other formal representations soon”. Making a formal complaint on an open Twitter feed? Ri-i-i-ight.
Sunder Katwala, who has been on Nawaz’ case for some time, was unimpressed. "His claims about a Guardian ‘obsession’ turn out to be very overblown, if you just check the Guardian archives. He has barely been mentioned for 2-3 years. There are in fact more Guardian pieces by Maajid Nawaz than Guardian pieces critical of Maajid Nawaz”.
As to Nawaz’ claims of harassment, Katwala reminded “It’s not ‘harassment at his workplace’, is it, to ask a radio station about a presenter spreading conspiracy theories. He is a public figure doing public advocacy (albeit bizarre now). He even heads a *counter*-extremism policy think-tank, which is what is a *very* legit inquiry”. Indeed.
The Observer article was nothing more than a recap on what Nawaz has said recently and the concerns expressed about it. The idea this is an attempt to “cancel” him appears absurd - unless, of course, his response is to deflect from genuine concern from LBC.
Anyone might think LBC’s patience is wearing thin. I’ll just leave that one there.
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