Lily Allen sparks Twitter-beef with Maajid Nawaz over 'Asian grooming gangs'

Lily Allen sparks Twitter-beef with Maajid Nawaz over 'Asian grooming gangs'
The singer said Quilliam's latest study was 'utterly useless'.
2 min read
30 October, 2018
Lily Allen rejected a much-criticised Quilliam study [Twitter]
British singer Lily Allen sparked a Twitter spat with controversial Muslim writer Maajid Nawaz, after she derided a study claiming the UK's South Asian population made up a high proportion of paedophiles and rapists.

Allen commented on a study by Nawaz's Quilliam Institute, a UK think-tank concerned with Muslim issues, which claims to have found "an alarming level of over-representation of (South) Asian men in group-based child sexual exploitation crimes, otherwise known as 'grooming gangs'".

"Actually that @quilliaminstitute study has just been outed as being utterly useless. They got their nationwide averages from a total of 5 victims or something," she responded to the study by the think tank.

This sparked a backlash from Maajid Nawaz and a group of his online supporters, claiming she was using her "saviour complex and pop-star privilege" to negate the study, which has also been repeatedly criticised by other observers.

In its heyday, Quilliam was receiving millions of pounds in funding from the British government. Due to its critical stance towards Islamism, it also became a darling of the right-wing press.

It portrayed itself as a movement for "moderate" Muslims by supporting the government's Prevent agenda, a controversial programme aimed at "de-radicalising" some Muslim youths.

British Muslims have long questioned the legitimacy of an organisation so heavily reliant on government funding and led by Nawaz, who has claimed his expertise rests on his and his colleagues' own previous history of "radicalism".