Counter-extremism activist and writer to be interviewed Nov. 11 at Muhlenberg College

News Image Richard Kerbaj, security correspondent for The Sunday Times of London, will interview Maajid Nawaz, a British counter-extremism activist and writer.

 Thursday, November 5, 2015 08:58 AM

The interview will take place at 6:45 p.m. in Moyer Hall’s Miller Forum. The event, which is sponsored by the Center for Ethics, is free and open to the public.

Nawaz, a former radical Islamist who was raised in the suburbs of London, calls for a Secular Islam since renouncing his Islamist past in 2007. Brought up in a financially comfortable and well-educated Pakistani family, Nawaz says the genocide against Bosnian Muslims coupled with the violence of white racists in his own experiences led to his disconnect with mainstream society and eventual connection with radical Islamists.

Nawaz’s current work is informed by the years spent in his youth as a leadership member of a global Islamist group, and his gradual transformation towards liberal democratic values. Nawaz is also a Daily Beast columnist, and provides occasional columns for newspapers including The New York Times and Wall Street Journal. He has made appearances on programs including, “Larry King Live,” “60 Minutes” and “Real Time with Bill Maher.”

Kerbaj previously interviewed Nawaz on Nawaz’s organization, Quilliam, a partially government funded anti-extremist think-tank in the United Kingdom. Quilliam is working to tackle the extreme Islamist ideology coming out of mosques, universities and madrassas in countries such as Syria and Pakistan.

Kerbaj is the security correspondent for The Sunday Times who has specialized in reporting on issues relating to terrorism for the last decade. Prior to joining The Sunday Times in 2010, Kerbaj worked on The Times for two years covering local and foreign stories, and served as the paper's bureau chief in Baghdad for two months in 2009. An award-winning journalist, Kerbaj began his career in Australia.

Throughout the fall semester, the Muhlenberg College Center for Ethics presents programming on “Influence & Information: Whose Safety? Whose Security?” The central purpose of this theme is to explore questions about policies that are claimed to protect some group of persons from others and which may endanger those ‘others’ and even compromise the safety of those they are purported to protect.

Founded in 1848, Muhlenberg is a highly selective, private, four-year residential college located in Allentown, Pa., approximately 90 miles west of New York City. With an undergraduate enrollment of approximately 2200 students, Muhlenberg College is dedicated to shaping creative, compassionate, collaborative leaders through rigorous academic programs in the arts, sciences, business, education and public health. A member of the Centennial Conference, Muhlenberg competes in 22 varsity sports. Muhlenberg is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.