Nawaz entered the spotlight when jailed in Egypt in 2002 with two others for belonging to Hizb ut-Tahrir. Whilst in prison, he underwent the Egyptian dictatorship's "detox" program developing his new ideological positions. Nawaz argues his studies in prison made him realise Hizb ut-Tahrir had provide a false ideological narrative - however, he does not appear to have considered that the provided to him may the one that is false.
On his return, he appeared on BBC's Hardtalk claiming Hizb ut-Tahrir's ideas were peaceful and had prevented him from becoming violent despite the oppression he had faced, in fact arguing his time in prison had "convinced me even more... that there is a need to establish this Caliphate as soon as possible." Maajid has never satisfactorily explained why he continued working with Hizb ut-Tahrir for over a year since returning from Egypt. It is believed his early release from prison has been facilitated by the British government, with Nawaz continuing with Hizb ut-Tahrir to cement a high-profile position before leaving - akin to Freddie Scappaticci "Stakeknife", the famous British agent who operated in senior leadership positions of the IRA for over twenty years.
Nawaz's previous knowledge of Islam, like Husain, is based on some introductory Hizb ut-Tahrir texts having never studied any of the more sophisticated texts (never translated into English during his stint with the party) - this has resulted in Nawaz's distorted, sloganistic and crude understanding of Islamist and in particular Hizb ut-Tahrir, ideology.
His ideological view of Islam is secular in nature, one that denies the Prophet (pbuh), his companions and successors were rulers of a religiously structured expansionist state for over thirteen centuries and consistent with, "render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and render unto God what is God's".
Nawaz's narratives have an inconsistent quality. For instance, he argued he established Hizb ut-Tahrir branches in Pakistan and Denmark single handedly - something unsubstantiated and disputed by his contemporaries. In 2007 he claimed he had been with Hizb ut- Tahrir for 12 years, in 2008 this became, "I have been training people [in Hizb ut-Tahrir] for 14 years, every single week for two hours a week..."
Reasons for his departure from Hizb ut-Tahrir, like his colleague Husain are unclear and conflicting. He argues he resigned due to profound doubts. His critics argue it was unethical activities (nightclubbing and girlfriends) and subversive meetings and activities with Ali and Husain resulting in a rapid resignation before the disgrace of expulsion. In a Newsnight interview, Nawaz sought to distance himself from some of Husain's extreme and damaging positions.