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The Speakeasier with Nazir Afzal: What can crime teach us about inclusion?

Updated: May 14

This week, we’re thrilled (and a little starstruck) to be joined by former Chief Prosecutor for the North West of England, Nazir Afzal OBE.

Nazir was the first practising Muslim to be appointed as Chief Prosecutor, putting him at the forefront of some of the UK’s most violent and harrowing legal cases. He was instrumental in getting justice for victims of grooming, sexual violence and child abuse, in cases including the Rochdale grooming gang and the earliest prosecution for so-called honour killing and modern slavery.

In this episode, Nazir talks to us about learned hate - the notion that racism, misogyny, homophobia etc are all learned and can therefore be prevented. Learnings which can lead to what he calls 'gender terrorism' - violence against women and girls as the result of the slow radicalisation of men. Misogyny and toxic masculinity being the learned thought-cycles which allow and encourage violence. Nazir explains how we can use our experience in tackling radicalisation to effectively fight gender violence.

He also talks more personally about his career, telling us about how he has had to battle with other people's attempts to pigeon hole him, how he navigates the pressure of being the voice for an entire community and why that makes it even more important that more people of colour are seen in high profile roles.

If that doesn’t sound interesting enough, he also told us about being on an Al-Qaeda death list, and keeping a panic alarm in his house.

Nazir's autobiography ’The Prosecutor’ is an inspiring memoir and we're so glad he had the time to talk to us about it. We highly recommend getting your hands on a copy at the next opportunity.

You can also follow Nazir on Twitter @nazirafzal

The Speakeasier is available on all podcast platforms.


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