Muslim fundamentalists in London have threatened to behead a fellow British Muslim after he posted aninnocuous image of Mohammed and Jesus on his Twitter account.
The death threats against Maajid Nawaz, a Liberal Democrat Party candidate for British Parliament, add to agrowing number of cases in which Islamists are using intimidation tactics to restrict the free speech rights of fellow Muslims in Europe. (Efforts to silence non-Muslims are well documented.)
Nawaz—a former member of the Islamist revolutionary group Hizb ut-Tahrir and co-founder of the Quilliam Foundation, a London-based counter-extremism think-tank—on January 12 posted on Twitter a cartoon of Mohammed and Jesus greeting one another ("Hey" and "How ya doin'?") with the caption: "This Jesus & Mo @JandMo cartoon is not offensive&I'm sure God is greater than to feel threatened by it الله أكبر منه".
Nawaz's tweet followed a BBC Big Questions program in which the "Jesus and Mo" cartoons, which have been around since 2005, were discussed and Nawaz was included as a studio guest.
Nawaz, who is also author of the book "Radical: My Journey out of Islamist Extremism," said he posted the image to trigger a debate among Muslims about what should and should not be acceptable within Islam.
Not in the mood for debate, furious Muslims responded by bullying and issuing threats of violence—including beheading—and also launched a petition (it quickly garnered more than 20,000 signatures) to have Nawaz deselected as a candidate for parliament.
Labour Party Councilor Yaqub Hanif of Luton, a town situated 50 km (30 miles) north of London and known as theIslamic extremist capital of Britain, said the depictions of Mohammed were "totally unacceptable" to Muslims and called on Nawaz to step down.