In this interview, Nawaz discusses his attempt to sue Egypt for torture through the British courts and about the ideas of Hizb al-Tahrir in general. Nawaz and two other British Muslims were arrested back in 2002 for being members of HT, which is banned in Egypt. Nawaz claims they were tortured by the Egyptian “security” services (which is really not hard to believe).
In contrast to his recent Newsnight interview, Nawaz was unabashed about his membership of the Party and its ideological stances in the HARDtalk interview. The blogger Salman Al claims to know Nawaz in person, and says the Newsnight interview is a complete turn around from when he last met him:
Since his return from Egypt, [Nawaz] has been an even bigger supporter of the Hizb and the rule of Islam in Muslim countries. It was as if the suffering and torture he endured in Mubarak’s torture chambers “recharged his batteries” and made him a better Muslim. At least that was the impression I got when I spoke to him on numerous occasions at SOAS where he was finishing his interrupted degree studies. Also, the TV interviews he participated in since his return from Egypt show no sign of any ideological retreat. He was still calling for the rule of Islam in Muslim countries.
Of course, it is not beyond the bounds of reason that he has changed his views since that interview; but it will cast certain doubts (rightly or wrongly) about the personal narrative given in Newsnight.
One thing does become clearer though: Muslim middle-classes run the Islamic agenda in Britain, whether they be Islamists, celebrity ex-Islamists, conservatives, progressives, media pundits or bloggers.