Exclusive: Maajid Nawaz Tells Of Being Racially Attacked In Central London
21 February 2019, 08:11 | Updated: 21 February 2019, 10:30
Maajid Nawaz has spoken for the first time of being attacked by a racist in central London.
The LBC presenter needed hospital treatment after being assaulted by the man, who called him a "f****** paki" outside the Soho Theatre on Dean Street.
Still sporting a black eye and a deep cut on his forehead, Maajid joined Nick Ferrari in the LBC studio to talk about the incident.
He said: "It all happened so quickly. I went to get cash from a cash machine and left my friends in a bar. This man walked past me and I heard him racially abuse an east Asian family in a restaurant, he was mocking the fact they weren't English.
"I was shocked I heard this in Soho, so I asked him why he's being racist. Immediately, he turned to me and started coming up too close to my face and said he's going to burn my eyes out, which was a very strange thing to say.
"I thought he was about to attack me, so I did what I have done once before when Jihadists had done this to me, I pulled my phone out to record him so that it would act as a deterrent, knowing he's on my phone.
"Before I could hit record with my phone, he swatted the phone out of my hand and it went flying to the floor. All of my cards are kept in the back of my phone, so I had a choice to make. Do I retrieve my phone or watch out for if this man attacks me?
"Then fate struck. A homeless person ran for my phone, so I thought I'm either going to get mugged or beaten up. So I bent down to grab my phone and cards, which had spilt over the floor, and as I was crouched down, without warning, he ran up from behind and upper-cutted me to the face int he forehead and hit me with some form of object in his hand. I assumed it was a signet ring, but the police said it might have been a key that he put between his knuckles.
"The next thing I know is that he's run away after calling me a "f****** paki". I put my hand on my head, I'd fallen back and there was blood everywhere."
The man who did this has been caught on camera and police are working on identifying him. Maajid described him as a white man aged around 40 with tattoos on both arms and short, cropped hair.
Maajid thanked the kind people who helped him in the aftermath, adding: "The immediate love I received after the vicious hate, it kept me sane.
"All of the people who helped me at the scene were white people and yet here was a white man trying to draw a division between me and my country.
"I was immediately received with love and care and the attention people paid to making sure I was ok."