Reza Pankhurst Responds

This is a guest post by Raziq

Reza has now produced a written response to the articles which appeared in The Times recently claiming that he was a member of Hizb ut Tahrir. It makes for very interesting and sometimes amusing reading. He says:

When applying to the LSE, I made it clear who I was and the views I was persecuted for in Egypt, and my hope that I could add a different voice and angle within academic circles that is mostly absent in a highly politicised field currently being filled largely by anti-terrorism careerists rather than serious research.

How dare the field be filled with ‘anti-terrorism careerists’, surely we need more HT-careerists eager to promote HTs insane ideology. It gets worse:

The latest media attention basically suggests that I am somehow unsuitable to be a lecturer or teacher at the LSE, due solely to my membership of Hizb ut Tahrir (HT). I don’t believe this is a personal agenda about me. Rather, this is a wider debate in which there seems to be an attempt to demonise anyone holding ideological opinions the British government doesn’t like, in a manner that the dictatorial “hereditary democracy” that is Egypt would be proud – hounding them into either remaining silent or else face being forced out of their profession. This new McCarthyism is apparent, with “reds under your beds” being replaced in this instance with “Islamists under your desks”.

I don’t think the article was concerned about your ability to lecture or teach but your efforts to use your position to promote HT ideology which you do so regularly at Jummah prayers. Oh but there is a wider agenda here Reza tells us, the British government doesn’t tolerate those whose ideological views differ from their own. Please remind us Reza, how would your Caliphate treat Muslims who didn’t accept its ideological view? Let’s just say I’d rather be hounded out of a profession than be executed. As for complaints about Britain being ‘dictatorial’, a bit rich for someone who doesn’t believe in democracy and wishes to establish a totalitarian caliphate where an absolute ruler will rule for life. It gets even worse:

I would like to point out that no other religious or political grouping is treated in such a manner, whereby because someone is a Muslim who believes in Islamic values and the revival of an Islamic State in Muslim countries means that their professionalism is automatically questioned. This is actually a form of discrimination.

You’re right Reza other political groupings are not treated in such a manner, they are treated much worse than you. Can you imagine how a member of the KKK would be treated if he was lecturing about ethnicity and race at a British University? I think your ‘revival of an Islamic state’ point could do with a bit of elaboration. Do you mean the state that will force shariah on its citizens against their will, the state that will not allow its citizens to vote or question is policies, the state that will execute gays and apostates as well as those who challenge it ideologically, the state that will force non-Muslims to be second class citizens and ask women to cover up and stay at home. Now that is a form of discrimination isn’t it you damn hypocrite? Reza should have stopped there, but he goes on:

……let us be clear about HT. I should point out that even documents obtained from the Home Office under the FOI act state that “HT’s activities centre on intellectual reasoning, logic arguments and political lobbying” and that “membership or sympathy with such an organisation does not in any way presuppose a move towards terrorism”

Since its establishment the only method used by HT in the work to re-establish an Islamic State, or Caliphate, has been intellectual reasoning, public debate and peaceful political struggle. That it has been banned and its members, including myself, have been jailed and tortured in several Middle Eastern and Muslim countries, is due to the fact that those totalitarian regimes have no legitimacy themselves, and the only way for them to maintain their grip over the oppressed people of the region is to combat debate with electricity, jail and even boiling people alive.

That’s right Reza you Hizbies are very peaceful people, you haven’t attempted military coups in Iraq and Syria or issued death threats in Bangladesh at all have you? I’m not sure which of your arguments are ‘logical’ though. And of course you haven’t produced any terrorists have you because you didn’t radicalise Omar Shiekh, Omar Sharif, Abu Musab al Zarqawi or Khalid Sheikh Muhammad? And how dare you complain about totalitarian regimes that persecute their political opponents when you intent to do the exact same thing yourself? He finishes off with this classic:

I have consistently refuted terrorism and the killing of civilians from a theological basis based upon orthodox Islamic teachings.

Irrespective of my clear stance against terrorism, the Times and other parts of the media are playing to a wider agenda of shutting down ideological debate by labelling certain views “extremist”. What offends them is that not only do I consistently point out that the number of civilians killed by soldiers, tanks and aircraft under government orders – in wars and occupations that many of the people they represent consider illegitimate – is a much bigger cause of instability in the world today, but also that the people of the Middle East have the right, indeed duty, to determine their political destiny in accordance with their own beliefs independent of the hands of despotic monarchs and presidents and those who support them.

Thanks for opposing terrorism Reza, we appreciate that. I suppose when your Islamic state runs around invading the world killing millions of people, that wouldn’t cause instability and terrorism? Don’t HT ‘shut down debate’ by labeling any Muslim who believes in democracy ‘kuffar’, by accusing anyone who opposes your ideology ‘agents of the evil west’ or ‘Islamophobic’. Your hypocrisy knows no bounds.

You are right the people of the Middle East have a right to determine their future.

Why then are you hell bent on establishing a totalitarian theocracy that will oppress its citizens and rule with an iron fist. Either you are living in cuckoo land or you don’t understand the movement that you are a part of and promote. Either way you are very hypocritical and disingenuous.

Update: Here is Taji Mustafa of Hizb ut Tahrir at last year’s “Al Quds Day” demonstration in London, showing Hizbi “intellectual reasoning, public debate and peaceful political struggle” in action:

This ummah needs a ruler who will stand up for Islam. Who will unite us behind Qur’an. Who will follow the words of the prophet and who will send an army. The army of Egypt is not the army of Egypt. The army of Iran is not the army of Iran. The army of Jordan is not the army of Jordan. These are the armies of Islam. These are the armies of the Muslim ummah. These are the armies that have to move. Takbir! Takbir! Takbir!

Yes, give your charity, may Allah accept it. Yes, make duaa (prayer) for the Palestinians, may Allah accept it. But you have to call, you have to demand, you have to march, that the Muslim armies, they have to disobey their orders. The Muslim armies in Egypt, Jordan and Syria, they have to disobey their presidents and these puppets of the West. They have to move across the borders. They have to liberate Gaza. They have to liberate Palestine, the whole of the land again. Takbir! Takbir! Takbir!