Maajid Nawaz explains why he will never condone violent demonstrations

20 June 2020, 14:34 | Updated: 20 June 2020, 14:57

By Seán Hickey

Supporting the idea of violent protests will stop people from showing solidarity for Black Lives Matter protests.

Maajid Nawaz started his show by asking how anti-racist activism can go forward. He was met with tense debate with some listeners who condoned violent protests and activism and he worked to condemn such ideas.

"I'm the only ethnic minority broadcaster on this station. If my show gives even a hint that violence is right, that's it.

"I've lost any chance I have to influence the very person we need to change, to bring them over to my side."

Maajid shared the importance of protesting peacefully, especially as a minority trying to raise awareness to racism. His argument was that should he turn to violence, he will alienate the very people he is trying to convert.

He argued that "it's a burden to actually make sure you're heard condemning it" and going to an extreme will make the debate even more difficult to facilitate.

Maajid insisted that peaceful protests do more for the anti-racism cause than violence
Maajid insisted that peaceful protests do more for the anti-racism cause than violence. Picture: PA

Maajid pointed out that systematic issues do not fall solely on ethnic minorities and shared his duty to share the plight of other disadvantaged people. "It is really important when I talk about systemic racism that the message is being heard by the white working class lad that I'm on his side as well."

"I understand that struggle, I grew up with those people, they were my friends, I see the struggle that they had to live." He said and called on anti-racism protesters to "talk about the system, let's not start picking on individuals and picking on them if they don't take a knee."

He referenced the actions of some of his heroes; Martin Luther King and Mahatma Ghandi and pointed out that "even if they excused violence people would not follow them. That's leadership."

Maajid ended his point by insisting that he was not a pacifist and explained to listeners the separation he makes between war and violent protest. "Let's not mix up self-defence, states going to war, and you proactively going out there to riot and loot" he concluded.