This is a guest post by Abdul
It is obviously bothering Hizb ut-Tahrir that they have not been addressed in the Dispatches show or the Telegraph article. Understandably this is annoying for them. Perhaps the journalists concluded that the task of exposing an organisation that so obvious rejects democracy and human rights in all its forms would be like shooting fish in a barrel.
Still, let’s have a look at Hizb ut Tahrir’s press release, defending the Islamic Forum Europe:
1. This article and its allegations will likely fuel anti-Muslim prejudice in Britain. The article portrays the group, Islamic Forum Europe (IFE), as some kind of sinister threat to Britain, quoting Jim Fitzpatrick MP, who says the Labour party has been infiltrated by the Muslim group. It uses language designed to scaremonger, calling the group ‘fundamentalist’ and saying it ‘believes in jihad and sharia law, and wants to turn Britain and Europe into an Islamic state’ – ‘promoting Islamic social and political order’. It is worth remembering that Fitzpatrick, Gilligan and Dispatches ‘have form’ on these issues.
Have form on these issues? Right… Increase anti-Muslim prejudice?
This is from a party that has devoted its entire existence to telling Muslims they are all sinners, and deviants and upon disbelief for accepting democracy and how Islam is inherently anti-democratic, anti-Western, anti-everything and that everyone who does believe in those things is not an Islamist. No, not even not an Islamist but they are not a tahriri or a jihadist – they are all deviants and upon disbelief. People who are not tahriris are told that all these anti-‘isms’ are necessitated by Islam, and that there is an inevitable clash of civilisations between Islam/Muslims and western society/non-Muslims. Sorry, but it is the Hizb and such organizations that are the actual causes of anti-Islamic opinion. It is they that should be charged with anti-Muslim bigotry.
2. Such attacks are rank hypocrisy by the British Establishment. On the one hand they push for Muslims to assimilate more. On the other, they accuse Muslims of ‘infiltrating’ when they engage politically! It is not dissimilar to Jack Straw’s comments on a Muslim constituent wearing the niqaab. He expects her to see him as her political representative, but when she did, he hypocritically criticised her dress as an act of separation!
Rank hypocrisy by the British establishment! The Channel 4 Dispatches show? Andrew Gilligan – the British Establishment? Quite…
Here’s the bottom line. Muslims and IFE are not quite the same thing. IFE are a front organization for Jamaat-e-Islaami Bangladesh, which has performed pitifully in elections in Bangladesh. Similar to the BNP, they are a fringe splinter group. Hizb of course do not believe in integration and believe that the role of being in the west is to engage in work to destroy the British State once the Caliphate takes over the Muslim majority countries with their autocratic Caliph. They say as much in their books, on what it means to have an “Islamic Personality”.
The same view is shared by Mawdudi who believes that being a Muslim necessitates bringing down every single state in the World!
Most Muslims (as the Dispatches show will highlight) do not share the views of JI or HT.
3. Just as Fitzpatrick’s attack on gender-segregated weddings was widely seen to be an unprincipled attempt to win votes from the BNP at the expense of his Muslim constituents, we could be forgiven for asking why Muslims should be bothered by the BNP when politicians from mainstream parties make comments such as these.
Hmmmm… interesting logic. Disagreeing with the segregation of a private function puts you in the same camp as a party which is anti-Muslim, racist, anti-Islam and anti-semitic. And let’s not forget – this is from the party that advocates that Muslims should not attend Universities and schools if they are not segregated and that pious Muslims would avoid going to “mixed university classes”, (though they have compromised in the UK on this).
This latter view I think is something that is problematic and actually stands in the way of Muslim men and women actually getting an education…
4. Hizb ut-Tahrir disagrees with IFE in its approach to political engagement in Britain. We believe that Islam does NOT allow joining secular political parties, especially when they promote policies that directly contradict Islamic values – such as the war of occupation in Afghanistan. However, this episode also confirms our view that these secular parties use Muslims for their votes, but absolutely resist any real influence of Muslims within the system.
Actually Hizb ut-Tahrir believe that anyone believing in democracy is a Kafir who should be killed by the State as an apostate. This is their view in the book, Democracy System of Kufr!
5. Moreover, what we have said for years is that Muslims could only ever progress in secular political parties in proportion to how much they sell out their Islamic beliefs, their principles and their own communities. This episode amply illustrates that Muslims are expected to abandon their values as a ticket into the system – something not demanded of others.
Given that their starting point is that that holding onto Islam means rejecting democracy then this point may stand, at least from a Hizb ut Tahrir perspective. What if you’re a Muslim who believes that Islam does not inherently require some kind of anti-Democratic stance and we believe that we can all agree a common set of values then we can as people living in a religiously neutral society, all take part in developing policies fair to all, not just Muslims?
Take for example, the case of Shaykh Bin Bayyah, a scholar who resides in Jeddah has been instructing Muslims to take part in mainstream politics, support political parties which share their values, muslim or otherwise, based upon their shared values and the interests of the whole society.
Muslims in general feel loyal to British society, more so than people of other faiths according to some studies, so I don’t think that Hizb’s perspective really has that much appeal to most ordinary Muslims. Islamists and fascist entities like the BNP and HT who reject universal values and political rights maybe…
6. All of this illustrates a wider view that secular Britain has one rule for Muslims, and another for everyone else; that Muslims should be viewed as ‘subjects’ or second class citizens. If anyone doubts this, they should consider that it is seen as normal that business lobbies, the environmental lobby or Zionist lobby put forward and finance candidates in mainstream parties to further their political influence – yet, if a Muslim group does the same (which we must stress we oppose from a Sharia perspective) it is seen as unacceptable.
I don’t actually think any comment is needed here. This is a group that advocates women have no political rights except maybe voting but not taking any political office, and non-Muslims should not have any political rights (except to be “consulted”). The comment should be seen for the absolute hypocritical nonsense that it is.
7. Our advice to our brothers and sisters in IFE is to Stand for Islam and resist this bullying, one aim of which is to push you to distance yourselves from Islamic matters such as those mentioned in the article – jihad, Sharia law and Islamic state (or ‘Islamic political and social order’).
Jihad through invading the UK through Muslim armies when we have the ability, impose the “caliphs” (in their eyes the HT leaders when he gets to power!) random adoption of opinions from the Shariah and enforcing that as the “law”, and the anachronism of an Islamic Modern super State from the imperial age, is not quite what I think even the IFE would like to aspire to and certainly not advocate publicly. Mawdudi and Jamaati-e-Islami on the other hand may do, and in fact in private circles activists may well study such ideas. But openly advocating such notions? I am not sure they would go quite so far.
While HT may well want to present all this analysis as untrue, it can’t deny it. In HT’s view, all of this is correct. HT are advocates of enforcing a narrow view of Shariah, and an expansionist concept of Jihad. Infiltrating the system is not HT’s way – that’s the special genius of entryist Islamists.
8. Moreover, our advice to Muslims more widely is to realise that there needs to be a thinking on political engagement that is based on Islam and that is independent from the divisiveness, scheming and corruption of secular politics. The longer Muslims continue to ‘kiss the hand that slaps them’, the longer we will remain voiceless, divided and humiliated. We can only remain dignified and united through Islam
Dignified and united through HT’s version of Islam. Otherwise we will kill you and enforce it over you, even if we have to kill millions of Muslims who disagree with us…
This is not an attempt to “help” IFE and East London Mosque. This is an attempt to gain support from other Islamists, lest the spot light turns to HT. It is also an attempt to further polarise Muslims and to unify Islamists together in a grand coalition of the various factions of entryists, Jihadists, and revolutionaries.
It is not fooling anyone.
Wilayah of Britain
15th Rabi al Awwal 1431
(1st March 2010)