A Muslim radio host has celebrated getting his first award, particularly as it was for his defence of LGBT+ rights.
London-based LBC presenter Maajid Nawaz celebrated receiving the Broadcast Award at the PinkNews Awards on Wednesday 18 October.
He was given the honour alongside TV host Lorraine Kelly.
Watch Nawaz slam parents who took their children out of a school over another student wearing a dress here:
Watch more of Nawaz’s best moments below
Nawaz is the founding chairman of counter-extremism think-tank Quilliam, and before renouncing his Islamist past, was formerly a member of Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir which led to his imprisonment in Egypt.
After receiving the award, Nawaz dedicated the award to any LGBTQ person who has been persecuted and hit out at “bigots” who would be confused by a Muslim winning an award for promoting LGBTQ issues.
He said: “I’ve actually never really won anything so imagine how confused it will make the bigots that this British Muslim won his first award for LGBTQ issues…
“I want to thank PinkNews and thank my producer Sandra who is over here without who my show would not be anything. Allow me just to say – I try to use my show as a platform to advance these sorts of social causes, and when I heard in a survey, the last survey that was conducted in January this year, that 52 percent of my fellow co-religionists, British Muslims, advocated the criminalisation of homosexuality in this country. I was both embarrassed and infuriated and frustrated and outraged and angry.
“I wanted to use the show as a platform to do something about that because the survey before that found that 0 percent of British Muslims found that being gay was ever morally acceptable.”
“And I knew, because I know Muslims in my own life, people that didn’t have those views, and I came to the conclusion that the only reason that they were responding in that way to those surveys is because they were embarrassed, and that they didn’t want to speak of their true views and beliefs because they feared the repercussions. And what that tells me that leadership was required from within the community.
“Without that leadership, it wouldn’t be possible to break those taboos. The Mayor of London is here and we have a beautiful history and I am indebted to him for reasons I won’t go into now, but that’s the kind of leadership that our community needs. on top of that the Imam Mohamed and the beautiful prayer that he gave, that’s the kind of leadership that our community needs.
“That’s why I wanted to dedicate every ounce of energy that I have on the LBC platform to also contribute to providing that kind of leadership.
“What I will say is that this award here isn’t for me or for Sandra or for the LBC show, it’s for every LGBTQ identifying person that has been murdered by extremists across the world simply for being – it is those 10 countries across the world that still carry the death sentence, all of which are Muslim-majority countries, simply for being gay, where people are killed by the law, by the state, by the statute. And until we carry on with the kind of leadership that tonight has shown unless we carry on, we cannot begin to change that kind of criminal conduct, is the only word to describe it. But this is for anyone out there who has been discriminated against because of who they are.”
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“This award is for every LGBTQ identifying person who has been murdered by extremists across the world simply for being who they are. Those 10 countries in the world that still carry the death sentence, all of which are Muslim majority countries, simply for being gay, where people are killed by the state.”
Watch his passionate speech below:
Nawaz often uses his LBC show to challenge anti-LGBT views and fearlessly tackles controversial issues surrounding LGBT people.
Watch Nawaz slam the ten countries which still punish being gay with the death sentence:
In a heated segment of his show, he listed the ten countries that still punish homosexuality with death, pointing out that they “are all, without exception, Muslim majority countries.”
Nawaz more recently slammed parents who have threatened legal action against their children’s school for allowing a trans child to wear a dress in class and challenged a caller who insisted that homosexuality should be punished with stoning.