Maajid Nawaz: We Can't Ignore Islam's Link To Terror

31 July 2016, 08:57 | Updated: 14 September 2016, 15:03

Maajid Nawaz Terrorism

Maajid Nawaz: we don't deny Christianity's role in the Crusades or the Spanish Inquisition - so why do we go to lengths to deny Islam plays a part in terrorism?

Talking on his first LBC show, Maajid said that we acknowledge religion’s role in other periods of violence in history - and that this latest period of Islamist violence across the world is much the same.

“It's a statement I often hear...that this terrorism, this global jihadist insurgency has nothing to do with Islam.

"Some of the evidence used there is that they say the jihadis, the attackers, weren't devout. Some of them ate pork, some of them drank, some of them went to nightclubs, some of them went to strip clubs.”

"We're in danger here of denying the problem that is staring us in the face."

"Just think for a moment how absurd it would sound if somebody said to us that the Spanish Inquisition had nothing to do with Catholicism or that the Crusades in fact had nothing to do with Christianity?

"That when Pope Urban II stood up on his pulpit and encouraged the peasants to go and fight and join this great Crusade and their reward would be martyrdom and eternal paradise and bliss. Even if those peasants weren't devout, even if they knew absolutely nothing of their religion, is it realistic to say that part of their motivation was the promise that the Pope made them that they would have eternal reward for going to fight in the cause in God's cause and in this holy Crusade?”

"So I think it's perhaps slightly unrealistic. It's a disingenuous I'd say, to claim that this problem has nothing to do with Islam."

"And I think in fact it's as I as unhelpful as it is to say that it is Islam per se or that every single Muslim and that every version of Islam is responsible for this problem, between the sensationalism and the denialism, there must be a middle way.”

"There must be a way for us to acknowledge that this has perhaps something to do with Islam not nothing and not everything but something to do with Islam."

"That something could be the promises made to these young angry men women who join groups such as ISIS and may not perhaps come from a devout background but want to make up for all of that and go straight on a one way ticket straight to paradise just like the peasants who joined the Crusades."