This is a guest post from Hannah Stuart and Houriya Ahmed
Regular readers of Harry’s Place don’t need us to tell them about Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT). However, as authors of the Centre for Social Cohesion’s recent report, Hizb ut-Tahrir: Ideology & Strategy, we feel obliged to respond to HT’s ‘smear aimed at distracting our organisation from
HT’s statement lays out six allegations against the Centre for Social Cohesion (CSC) and our report:
#1. ‘The report is little more than a rehash of the same old and tired allegations that have been disproved on many previous occasions’.
Yeah, sure, it’s the same old allegations… hijacking planes and killing Jews…
If the plane belongs to a country at war with the Muslims, like Israel, it is allowed to hijack it, for there is no sanctity for Israel nor for the Jews in it and their property and we should treat them as being at war with us
– ‘The Islamic Rule on Hijacking Aeroplanes’, HT, 8 April 1988 [See pp.31-32 of our report]
There can be no peaceful relations with the Jews: this is prohibited by Islamic Law. It is also prohibited to settle for only part of Palestine. There can be neither negotiations, co-existence nor normalization of relations with the Jews in Palestine. None of the Jews in Palestine who arrived after the destruction of the Ottoman Empire have the right to remain there. The Islamic legal rule requires that those of whom are capable of fighting be killed until none survive.
– Ata Abu Rishta, HT’s current global leader, 1994 [see pp.27-29 of our report]
The questions we put to HT are: when have these allegations been disproven? And more importantly, when is HT going to retract these statements?
#2. ‘This report comes from the CSC, an organisation that purports to be a think tank but which has a track record of anti-Muslim papers and articles. Douglas Murray, its director and self confessed neoconservative famously said “Conditions for Muslims in Europe must be made harder across the board.”’
In fact, Murray – who did not author this report – argued for no special treatment for any minority, or majority. He advocated equal rights – and treatment – for all. By contrast, HT believes conditions for non-Muslims, women, gays, fellow Islamists that advocate democracy (basically anyone who disagrees with HT) should be made harder across the world.
‘Neoconservatives who openly support violence and the ideology which was the conveyor belt to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars which have led to the mass murder of hundreds of thousands of Muslims.’
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have undoubtedly led to the death of thousands of Muslims, mainly perpetrated by al-Qaeda operatives. But this is nothing compared to the ‘millions’ of Muslims HT are prepared to kill to expand their Caliphate in Muslim-majority countries:
Therefore, it is imperative to put back this issue in its rightful place and consider it to be a vital issue, by killing every apostate even if they numbered millions.
Thus the rule by a Kufr system would be prevented even if this led to several years of fighting and even if it led to the killing of millions of Muslims and to the martyrdom of millions of believers.
– Abdul Qadeem Zallum, HT’s second global leader, How the Khilafah was Destroyed [see p.43 of our report]
‘The CSC is a subsidiary of Civitas…’
CSC is not a subsidiary of CIVITAS – nor has it been since June 2008.
3. ‘Hizb ut-Tahrir works openly and has never hidden its work or objectives.’
Since 7/7 HT have operated a ‘keep your ideology in your heart’ strategy. After Tony Blair’s proposed proscription, HT took all inflammatory material off their website and later said they were worried people may have taken the group’s views out of context. At the time HT members even burned party books because they feared a government crackdown on their extremist material. [See p.110 of our report]
‘After 7/7 we held open meetings and debates with non-Muslims – including leading intellectuals, politicians and journalists in the UK such as Tim Sebastian, Adam Boulton, David Goodhart, AC Grayling, Roger Mosey, Norman Lamont and many others – where our views were challenged and scrutinised […] We have challenged Ministers and front bench Tory politicians to debate their threats to ban Hizb ut-Tahrir, but none have engaged in debate.’
No surprise there. Maybe it’s because they know HT will use their names to bolster the party’s claimed legitimacy…
#4. ‘We believe the reason for this smear campaign is that Hizb ut-Tahrir offers an agenda for Muslims in the west to engage confidently in society whilst preserving their Islamic identity and values.’
HT is responsible for smearing itself with it antisemitic, pro-offensive jihad, anti-Western, homophobic and terrorist-supporting statements. Enough said! [See pp. 20-23, 28-33, 38-40 of our report]
‘This message is gaining clear support amongst Muslims and this directly contradicts the agenda of aggressive assimilationists like the CSC.’
Yes, we apologise, we do wish to aggressively campaign for the rights of British Muslims – freedom of belief, the right to practice one’s religion without fear, and the right to vote. We do believe in the availability of such rights, just as people have the right not to use them.
#5. ‘Hizb ut-Tahrir’s support for the Caliphate in the Muslim world as a way to liberate the Muslim world from occupation and colonialism also flies in the face of imperialist neoconservative thinking.’
HT does not believe in jihad as a “defensive” doctrine:
Jihad is not a defensive war; it is in fact a war to raise the Word of Allah (swt) and it is compulsory originally in order to spread Islam and to carry its message even if the disbelievers did not attack us.
– Hizb ut-Tahrir, Hizb ut-Tahrir [see p.22 of our report]
6. ‘The report’s characterisation of the Khilafah (Caliphate) as a state out to destroy the world is laughable when we see in truth that it is western governments that have had an aggressive policy in the Muslim world. Its claim that Hizb ut-Tahrir is committed to “mass murder” is a joke. […] Indeed, the CSC report contradicts itself saying “HT is not a terrorist organisation”.’
Yes, HT is not a terrorist organisation. But it will do its damn best to establish a terrorist state:
This terror cannot take place without preparation, and preparation requires the presence of factories. Thus the verse [a Quranic verse] indicates obligation of establishing the military factories through the meaning of necessity…
– Hizb ut-Tahrir, The Institutions of State in the Khilafah in Ruling and Administration [see p.33 of our report]
‘The characterisation that Hizb ut-Tahrir supports "violent jihad" is hysterical. The well known Islamic stance is that those who are under occupation have the right to resist occupation, and this is Hizb ut-Tahrir’s stance as well.’
…[T]hey [the West and “weak” Muslims] interpreted jihad as a defensive rather than offensive war. They contradicted the reality of jihad, for jihad is a war against anyone who stands in the face of the Islamic Da’wah whether he is an aggressor or not. In other words it is the removal of any obstacle standing in the face of the Da’wah…
– Hizb ut-Tahrir Hizb ut-Tahrir [see p.22 of our report]
In summary, HT’s statement is ‘not a sincere or objective attempt to analyse’ Hizb ut-Tahrir: Ideology & Strategy.
Despite such smears and attacks we remain committed to our efforts to work to establish liberal democracy in the Muslim world, and encourage the British Muslim communities to preserve our liberal values!