Former Islamist Maajid Nawaz to fight marginal parliamentary seat for Lib Dems in 2015 election

A former activist in the radical Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahrir has been chosen to fight a marginal parliamentary seat for the Liberal Democrats. Maajid Nawaz renounced his past and called for a “secular Islam” six years ago, helping to set up the Quilliam Foundation, a counter-extremism think-tank. He was selected to contest the north London constituency of Hampstead and Kilburn, a three-way marginal currently held by Labour’s Glenda Jackson with a majority of just 42. Mr Nawaz, who is 35, said: I am looking forward to running for public office. Quilliam will remain a priority for me because its values shape my beliefs and outlook.”

Final stage for mosque facelift

Mosque officials in Derby are hoping to put the finishing touches to their building to complete a _3m facelift. Normanton’s Jamia Mosque has applied to Derby City Council for planning permission for two new classrooms, an extension to a washroom and improved access to the second and third floors. The _3m to fund the project has been donated entirely by people. Mosque secretary Gulfraz Nawaz said he was pleased that the work was almost complete. He said that the building work started many years ago so the mosque’s members were delighted be at the final phase. Mr Nawaz said that the capacity of the mosque would not be altered by the work.

Mecca pilgrimage inspires mosque

A faith pilgrimage to Mecca provided the inspiration for a Pudsey student to design a revolutionary mosque and cultural centre. Shahid Nawaz, 30, said the mosque would welcome members of all communities and educate people about Islamic culture. Nawaz is studying a postgraduate diploma in architecture at Leeds Metropolitan University. As part of his course he is on a year-long work experience programme at an architecture and management practice called ‘space’ where the team of technicians, designers and architects is helping him with the proposal stage of the project. Nawaz said: “It will welcome members from all communities, bringing understanding to local communities about Islam and introducing Islamic culture and traditions through lectures and exhibitions.” Mr Nawaz’s designs will be displayed in an exhibition at the university.