#35 Our Flawed Fight Against ISIS: Maajid Nawaz: How Do We Fix It?

Before The U.S. and other nations can be successful against Islamic State (ISIS) and other global jihadists, we must understand the difference between Islam and Islamism. That's the argument from our guest on this week's episode, Maajid Nawaz.

"It happens to be that today we are dealing with an insurgency that's rising and growing within my own Muslim community," he says. It doesn't help to deny it."

A Sunni Muslim and a former Islamist fundamentalist, who is founding chairman of the London-based counter-terrorism foundation, Quilliam, Maajid makes a powerful argument for freedom, tolerance and respect. 

He says that President Obama and many other liberal-minded politicians and journalists have been reluctant to call Islamist ideology by its proper name. "Here's where people become paralyzed by political correctness," he argues.  "We are unable to say 'Islamist extremism' as distinct from Islam the religion."

"I call this the Voldemort affect," citing the villain in the Harry Potter books and movies. Maajid compares the refusal to speak out against Islamists to those in the novels who were so petrified by Lord Voldemort's evil that they simply called him "he who must not be named."

"We're not talking about Islam the faith we're talking about politicalization of the faith."

Maajid Nawaz is author of the book “Radical: My Journey Out of Islamist Extremism.”