Search

Hampstead and Kilburn Lib Dem candidate gets death threats after tweeting cartoon of Prophet Muhammad

PUBLISHED: 18:06 20 January 2014 | UPDATED: 11:35 23 January 2014

The Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn has been forced to call in police after receiving multiple death threats when he tweeted a cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad.

Maajid Nawaz, a former Islamist who now runs a leading anti-extremist organisation based in the UK, posted the picture on Friday in an attempt to demonstrate that not all Muslims were offended by “bland” depictions of the Prophet.

The image was of two audience members from the LSE Atheism Society who appeared on a BBC show on Sunday last week wearing T-shirts showing two cartoon figures under the title “Jesus and Mo”.

Re-posting the picture, Mr Nawaz wrote: “This is not offensive and I’m sure God is greater than to feel threatened by it.”

The Tweet prompted multiple death threats against the Lib Dem candidate - including threats to have him beheaded - forcing him to contact the police.

Hundreds of messages of support have since been sent by free-speech advocates and anti-extremist campaigners to Mr Nawaz.

But some members of the UK Muslim community have already written to Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg to demand that he be removed from the party.

A petition calling for him to be sacked as the parliamentary candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn - claiming he had been “disrespectful and offensive” to the Muslim community - has so far received more than 2,000 signatures.

George Galloway, MP for Bradford West, also called for him to be sacked, saying: “No Muslim will ever vote for the Liberal Democrats anywhere ever unless they ditch the provocateur Maajid Nawaz.”

Pleading for calm in response to the furore, Mr Nawaz wrote: “I posted that image here to explain how, as a Muslim, I didn’t find this particular image offensive and think God is greater than to find offence at such a bland cartoon.

“If you do think this is offensive, then you can simply not look at my profile.

“I do not find it offensive, so the whole debate should be about the meaning of offence, and not about whether it’s right or wrong to insult prophets, when I don’t think this is insulting.”

Mr Nawaz, a former member of the radical group Hizb ut-Tahrir, who now runs the anti-extremist Quilliam Foundation, added: “Some are angry I didn’t find the cartoon featured on BBC offensive and repeated my view.

“Others are angry I am being silenced. Please let’s all calm down.”

0 comments

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 18:31

Two moped muggers described by a judge as “personal crime waves” have been sentenced to more than three years detention.

Yesterday, 17:44

Neighbours in Primrose Hill are urging people to oppose plans for a new “mega basement”, at the former home of Hollywood stars Aaron and Sam Taylor-Johnson.

Yesterday, 16:51

East Finchley schoolchildren descended on Whitehall to protest against their loss of access to libraries in Barnet borough.

Yesterday, 14:54

The sparing of a nature reserve from closure following its take over by the HS2 High Speed railway line firm “pales into insignificance” when compared to disruption caused to homeowners, a critic has claimed.

Yesterday, 14:32

A mother-of-four is on a mission to transform the handwriting skills of schoolchildren.

Yesterday, 14:28

Two young thieves who terrorised women with a scooter-based crime spree have been locked up for a total of 15 years.

Yesterday, 13:15

A jealous Hornsey man has been jailed for six years for beating his partner with a ceramic frying pan – because she sent a text message.

Yesterday, 12:39

The Overground line between Barking and Gospel Oak could be closed over the Christmas period to allow electrification work to be completed.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Navigating divorce or separation when there are children involved can be emotionally difficult and confusing for everyone involved. Here, Jessica Palmer of Streathers Solicitors in Hampstead, offers answers to commonly asked questions

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now