Search

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

18:06 20 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

Latest News Stories

08:00
Henrique Coceicao walked free from court yesterday. Picture: Polly Hancock

A man charged with stealing £4,600 worth of iPads from a primary school has walked free from court smiling after events which saw a headteacher fail to turn up to give key evidence – because he was holidaying in Sri Lanka.

07:00
What the UCL Institute would look like. Picture: HayesDavidson

A £42million project, backed by Prime Minister David Cameron, to build a world-leading centre helping to find cures for cancer and AIDS in the heart of Hampstead hangs in the balance after a planning blunder from Camden Council.

10 minutes ago
Fiona Dean, assistant director of culture and customer services in Camden, and Cllr Abdul Hai at the meeting to discuss the cuts to the libraries service. Picture: Polly Hancock

West Hampstead Library could move into a controversial proposed eight-storey housing development to prevent it from closing, it has been suggested.

Yesterday, 16:36
Sasha Gordon

A star pupil from a school in Hampstead Garden Suburb has been dubbed Britain’s brightest girl after making it to the final of a television series featuring child geniuses.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Get your hands on some fresh trainers!

Need some new shoes to head to work or some new heels for a night on the cobbles? London24 has teamed up with online retailer Sole Trader to offer £100 worth of shoes to one lucky reader.

Take in the stunning sites of London from the summit of the O2!

Up at The O2 has teamed up with London24 to give one lucky reader the chance to experience urban mountaineering this summer with an exhilarating 90-minute climb across the roof of one of London’s most iconic landmarks.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder