An evening with Maajid Nawaz

Maajid Nawaz Australia

You’ve read the book; now watch the conversation.

Coming soon: Islam and the Future of Tolerance: The Movie

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Maajid Nawaz’ January 2016 Tour.

So…those last two weekends? Needless to say, they have been among the wildest that the Think Inc. team has experienced. We had barely wrapped up An Evening with Sam Harris and within a blink, An Evening with Maajid Nawaz rolled around. But this back-to-back was not one we’ll soon forget, and, we hope, you will not soon forget either.

Joining his co-author Sam Harris as a special guest, Maajid generated plenty of his own buzz during the rest of his stay in Australia, up until his own talks the following weekend. With numerous radio interviews and a much-discussed feature on ABC’s The Drum, Maajid lit a wick in the dark room of openly discussing extremism, even though critics have accused him of burning that same candle at both ends.

Along came January 29th and 30th, and audiences poured in to Melbourne’s Federation Square and Sydney’s Seymour Theatre to become involved with Maajid directly, discussing a wide variety of matters central to our very real social anxieties of today: Why are young people falling in with extremist groups? Where do we draw the line at tolerating intolerance? How do we have these conversations to build bridges instead of burn them?

It takes courage to converse on these controversial matters – both from audiences and from Maajid himself – and the feedback did not disappoint:

 

https://twitter.com/D_J_H89/status/693002221324242944

 

https://twitter.com/MaajidNawaz/status/693759299953123328

 

https://twitter.com/phoxyclub1/status/693538348078501888

 

What is encouraging to us most at Think Inc. is that, especially with those who attended Maajid and Sam’s shows, we see for ourselves a cohort that does not merely shy away from the uncomfortable yet crucial conversations that tend to get swept under the rug by policy makers and, as Maajid himself calls them, ‘The Regressive Left’. Regardless of where any of us stand in our society, the content of Maajid and Sam’s talks is unique to this day and age, and requires a unique approach.

Remember: Harry, Hermione and Ron defeated Voldemort by first being able to name him. We too can be heroes, and this is a crucial first step in producing a safer and fearless world for us all. Thank you.

“If liberalism is to mean anything at all, it is duty bound to support without hesitation the dissenting individual over the group, the heretic over the orthodox, innovation over stagnation, and free speech over offense.”

A recurring global conversation of 2015 has been one centered on extremism. The widely-reported Charlie Hebdo killings in January and the recent string of November attacks across Paris have thrust sociopolitical discourse deeper than ever into territory that holds under scrutiny the place that democracy, religion, and identity have in the globalised world. One of the voices proactively calling for a fair and rigorous assessment of tolerance in the 21st century is being brought to Australia in January 2016: author, politician and activist Maajid Nawaz.

See the politician and counter-extremism activist discuss Islam and Islamism, his experiences with radicalism, the ‘regressive left’, and the importance of forging his unlikely, controversial alliance with Sam Harris to amplify dialogue on religion in society.

An ex-radical Islamist, Nawaz has redirected his efforts towards proactively critiquing the dangers of religious fundamentalism in the 21st century, penning the 2012 confessional ‘Radical: My Journey out of Islamist Extremism’ and continuing to be a positive force in the mammoth discussion on curtailing religious intolerance from both theists and non-theists, promoting the need for greater secularity within religion and society. In 2008, Nawaz founded the Quilliam Foundation, “the world’s first counter-extremism think tank set up to address the unique challenges of citizenship, identity, and belonging in a globalised world.” Quilliam’s focal points traverse our most pressing questions: What are the seemingly-countless and complex contributing risk factors for youths joining extremist groups? At which fault are the parties involved? How can these parties form alliances to efficiently combat extremist activity that claims lives by the thousands? Recently, Nawaz has had to form one such unexpected alliance of his own; in teaming up with controversial ‘New Atheist’ Sam Harris for their book ‘Islam and the Future of Tolerance: a Dialogue’ (2015), they maintain the need for a balanced discussion on extremism that sets aside conversations on deistic existence in order to focus on the tangible issues that face us: promoting social solidarity and a reassertion of liberalist values without violent reprisal. One of Nawaz and Harris’s most crucial critiques is that of the overt ‘political correctness’ of the ‘regressive left’ i.e. those remiss to critically consider and acknowledge the link between religion and extremism, and conflating criticism with bigotry in the process. This discussion has received significant media attention across major outlets such as ABC Australia’s Lateline, and MSNBC. Think Inc. – the team behind the Australian tours of Sam Harris, Dr Neil deGrasse Tyson, Dr Michio Kaku, Dr Cornel West and The ‘Amazing’ James Randi – are pleased to present An Evening with Maajid Nawaz in late January of 2016. Off the heels of his special guest appearances at An Evening with Sam Harris, Maajid Nawaz will engage Sydney and Melbourne audiences in the discussion of approaching these crucial conversations with critique, candour and courage.

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