-THE EXTREMIST GROUP HIZB UT-TAHRIR: Part Two

EDITORIAL COMMENT

huttahirOCTOBER 17, 2007 –  One week ago we ran a story about the extremist group Hizb ut-Tahrir. The group calls for the outright destruction of the State of Israel.

Recently, the BBC TV programme Panorama, interviewed Shiraz Maher, a former member of the Muslim extremist group Hizb ut-Tahrir which campaigns for an Islamic state.

Maher explains how he became a Muslim extremist including, “what it was to think like an extremist and adopt an ideology that demands you abandon all aspects of your former life – including your friends and family.” The programme is now available through the following BBC site:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/player/nol/newsid_7020000/newsid_7024200/7024205.stm?bw=nb&mp=rm&news=1

Not to be outdone, Hizb ut-Tahrir issued a general statement on the programme. It’s worth reading. They said:

On the basis of the scant evidence provided to substantiate these allegations, we reject them outright.

They are based on no more than hearsay and innuendo. As a matter of principle, Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain freely undertakes interviews with the media. However, it does not undertake interviews or participate in documentaries with those who have wilfully and maliciously misrepresented the party’s well known views or their experiences with the organisation.

It is a matter of public record that the presenter of the documentary has done so on many occasions and we simply cannot engage in interviews with people who so utterly compromise their professional integrity in this manner.

Worldwide Movement/Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain

Hizb ut-Tahrir is a global organisation; a matter that has been well known and widely reported for over 50 years.

The organisation was founded in 1953 in Jerusalem and has had a presence in the UK for the past two decades.

We understand that the conference organised by Hizb ut-Tahrir Indonesia featured speakers from around the world including Palestine, Sudan, Australia and Japan amongst others.

Promoting violence

We reject the allegation. The commitment of Hizb ut-Tahrir not to be involved in any violent or militant activity at any stage is based on its faith and understanding of the revelation of God, which makes its involvement in any terrorist or violent activity impossible, either in theory or practice.

No person can join Hizb ut-Tahrir until he or she adopts this political and intellectual methodology and approach.

With respect to the brutal and illegal occupation of Islamic lands like Palestine, the party has consistently defended the right of those under occupation to defend themselves.

Omar Khyam

We reject the allegation. Our view on violent protests or incitement of hatred towards others was outlined in a press release on February 5th 2006.

It is available on our website.

Omar Sharif

We reject the allegation. As we stated in a press release on 19th July 2005, “Asif Hanif and Omar Sharif, who were responsible for a Tel Aviv suicide bombing in April 2003, were not members of Hizb ut-Tahrir and had no affiliation whatsoever with Hizb ut-Tahrir”.

In addition, in undertaking these actions they were not influenced at all by Hizb ut-Tahrir or its members.

Despite extensive investigations by the police and security services, including legal proceedings against members of the Sharif family, the prosecution failed to establish any relationship with Hizb ut-Tahrir.

Bilal Abdullah/Kafeel Ahmed

We reject these allegations and refer you to our press release concerning this.

Shiraz Maher is the only source suggesting any link to Hizb ut-Tahrir’s ideology. We note that the family of Abdullah say that his guiding mentor was Sheikh Ahmad al-Qubeisi of Baghdad.

Times Online article

Antisemitism

We reject decisively the charge of antisemitism because Islam is a message directed to all humankind.

However, at the same time we decisively reject Zionism represented in the form of Israel and Hizb ut-Tahrir, like the majority of other Muslim organisations, is opposed to the continued occupation of Palestine by the Israeli State.

Hatred towards Britain and British society

We reject your allegation. Hizb ut-Tahrir’s views on the manner in which Muslims should interact with British society are on record.

Following a Home Office consultation entitled “Strength in Diversity”, Hizb ut-Tahrir presented a document outlining how Muslims should seek to foster cohesion in the wider society. These are some key extracts from that document:

“We believe that Muslims adhering to the sublime values of Islam can lead to harmony between Muslims and non-Muslims and the improving of community relations, especially in northern towns characterised by polarised communities.”

“Muslims must maintain the security of property of their fellow citizens. Therefore, it is forbidden to steal, defraud, embezzle or deceive others. To the extent, for example, it is prohibited to travel on public transport without paying for the ticket.”

“Muslims must not violate the blood of their fellow citizens. It is forbidden to cause them any harm. This includes the prohibition of causing fear and terror.”

Smearing former members and death threats

We reject the allegations that our organisation or its members have engaged in smearing former members, publishing their home addresses or phone numbers or making death threats.

As stated in a letter from a party spokesman to the New Statesman in June 2007: “Hizb ut-Tahrir is a non-violent organisation that does not make death threats against anyone, nor do we accept these from our members.

Hizb ut-Tahrir and its members have never issued any death threats, despite the boiling alive of our members in places such as Uzbekistan.

Instead, our members have remained patient and have not resorted to wreaking violence on the world as the neoconservatives have. People who feel they have been threatened should contact the police.”

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