You expect the main speaker at the Liberal Democrat annual dinner to have a profile on Wikipedia. After all they are normally ministers or peers or MPs. This year's speaker is no exception - except he is only 36 years old, and hasn't been elected to any political office (yet). But he has written a best-selling autobiography and his media profile is higher than most politicians.
Maajid Nawaz is co-founder of Quilliam, a London-based think tank that focuses on "counter-extremism", specifically 'Islamism', which it argues is the cause of Muslim terrorism. Quilliam lobbies government and public institutions for more nuanced policies regarding Islam and the need for greater democracy in the Muslim world. It seeks to demonstrate how 'Islamist' ideology is incompatible with Islam, and promotes a Western Islam that is at home in Britain and Europe and takes on the arguments of the extreme Islamists.
Maajid is a totally compelling speaker who appears regularly on television and radio (not always without controversy!). He is the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for the ultra-marginal constituency of Hampstead and Kilburn. I had the pleasure of spending a week in the Middle East with him. And he is now taking time out to speak at our annual dinner in St Albans.
It's on a Saturday this year - 15th November at the Quality Hotel in London Road, St Albans. And up until 30th September, tickets are only £36 each for 'early bird' bookings (£18-50 for 26 and under). After that prices go up to £40 for senior tickets.
232-236 London Rd
St Albans, Hertfordshire AL1 1JQ
Google map and directions