Hizb ut-Tahrir

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Hizb ut-Tahrir
حزب التحرير
Leader Ata Abu Rashta
Founder Taqiuddin al-Nabhani
Founded 1953; 63 years ago (1953)
Membership Estimated 1 million
Ideology Pan-Islamism
Sunni Islam
Website
http://www.hizb-ut-tahrir.org/

Hizb ut-Tahrir (Arabic: حزب التحريرḤizb at-Taḥrīr; Party of Liberation) is a radical,[1] international, pan-Islamic political organisation, which describes its "ideology as Islam", and its aim as the re-establishment of "the Islamic Khilafah (Caliphate)" or Islamic state. The new caliphate would be ruled by Islamic Shariah law,[2] unify the Muslim community (Ummah),[3] return the caliphate to its "rightful place as the first state in the world",[2] and carry "the Da'wah [spread] of Islam" to the world.[4]

The organization was founded in 1953 as a Sunni Muslim organization in Jerusalem by Taqiuddin al-Nabhani, an Islamic scholar and appeals court judge (Qadi)[5] from the Palestinian village of Ijzim. Since then Hizb ut-Tahrir has spread to more than 50 countries and by one estimate has about one million members.[6] Hizb ut-Tahrir is very active in Western countries, particularly in the United Kingdom, and is also active in several Arab and Central Asian countries, despite being banned by some governments. Members typically meet in small private study circles but in countries where the group is not illegal (such as Europe), it also organises rallies and conferences and engages with the media.[1]

The party's doctrine has been described as based on its deceased founder's writings and "unchanged in the last 50 years", with any changes potentially undermining party unity.[7] It promotes a detailed program and "draft constitution"[8] for the caliphate,[4][9][10] which would be a unitary (not federal) state, and run by a caliph head of state elected by Muslims.[8][11] Hizb ut-Tahrir states that the re-establishment of caliphate would provide stability and security to both Muslims and non-Muslims in the predominantly Muslim regions of the world.[12][13]

Hizb ut-Tahrir is also strongly anti-Zionist and calls for the State of Israel, which it calls an "illegal entity", to be "dismantled"[14] or "destroyed".[15]

Hizb ut-Tahrir has been described as "controversial".[16] Some observers believe it is a victim of unjust and untrue allegations of connections to terrorism,[17] as the organization has never been "overtly involved" in terrorism or even any "violent actions".[18] Others argue that it is engaged in "politics of hatred" and intolerance which is a "natural precursor" of violence,[19] or that actions such as calling suicide bombers "martyrs",[20] or calling for the destruction of Hindus in Kashmir, Russians in Chechnya and Jews in Israel—are extremist.[21] Or that it opposes violence and military expansion not in principle but only until its "Islamic state" has been established. [18]

Goals, methods, and organization[edit]

Hizb ut-Tahrir states its aim as unification of all Muslim nations (or as it says "Islamic lands"[22]) over time in a unitary Islamic state or caliphate, headed by an elected caliph.[8][11] This, it holds, is a religious duty, "an obligation that Allah has decreed for the Muslims and commanded them to fulfill. He warned of the punishment awaiting those who neglect this duty."[23] More than one analyst, however,[24][25] has described HT's state as "expansionist". Michael White quotes the work of Hizb ut-Tahrir founder Taqiuddin al-Nabhani[26] to suggest that once Hizb ut-Tahrir has succeeded in creating a unified, transnational Islamic state it should press on to expand the state into non-Muslim areas. According to al-Nabhani's work The Islamic State, Muslims abroad "should work towards turning their land where Islam is not implemented, and which [is thus] considered as Dar al-Kufr, into Dar al-Islam".[27] Hizb ut-Tahrir is opposed to individual liberty and freedom; rather, it promotes the overthrow—both democratically and militarily—of democracies and dictatorships alike, arguing they are un-Islamic.[21]

Although hizb means party in Arabic, in the countries where it is active Hizb ut-Tahrir has not registered as a political party nor attempted to elect candidates to political office, according to Zeyno Baran of the Washington, D.C.-based Nixon Center think tank.[28] This is not true in all countries or throughout Hizb ut-Tahrir's history, however. For example, Hizb ut-Tahrir put forward candidates for office in Jordan in the 1950s when it was first formed, according to Suha Taji-Farouki, but was banned by the regime later.[29] Kyrgyz Hizb ut-Tahrir members campaigned unsuccessfully for an affiliated candidate in Kyrgyzstan's national presidential election in July 2005,[30] and have participated in municipal elections where their followers have won in a number of regions.[31]

According to an analyst of Hizb ut-Tahrir in Kazakhstan,[32] where the group is outlawed, Hizb ut-Tahrir plans its political progress in three stages: "First they convert new members. Secondly, they establish a network of secret cells, and finally, they try to infiltrate the government to work to legalize their party and its aims."[30] A more sympathetic description of this strategy is that Hizb ut-Tahrir works to:

  1. Establish group of elites as a community of Hizb ut-Tahrir members who carry the da'wah (invitation) to Muslim societies to support an Islamic state.[33] Members should accept the goals and methods of the organization as their own and be ready to work to fulfill these goals.[34]
  2. Build public opinion among the Muslim masses for the caliphate and the other Islamic concepts that will lead to a revival of Islamic thought.[34]
  3. Once public opinion is achieved in a target country through debate and persuasion, the group hopes to obtain support from army generals, leaders, and other influential figures or bodies to facilitate the change of the government. The government would be replaced by one that implements Islam "generally and comprehensively", carrying Islamic thought to people throughout the world.[34]

According to a BBC program on the group's activities in Indonesia, "unlike many other Islamist movements here, Hizb ut-Tahrir seems less interested in a broad mass following than a smaller more committed core of members, many of them drawn from Indonesia's educated middle classes."[35] Zeyno Baran describes the party as a "vanguard party" because he states it is interested in achieving power through "hundreds of supporters in critical positions" rather than "thousands of foot soldiers."[36] However, at least one of its leaders in the UK, Jalaluddin Patel, states that that is an untrue characterization of the group.[37]

In countries where the party is outlawed, Hizb ut-Tahrir's organisation is said to be strongly centralized, with its central leadership based in the Palestinian Territories. Underneath its center are "national organisations or wilayas, usually headed by a group of 12, control networks of local committees and cells."[6] The basic unit of the party is a cell of five members, the leader of which is called a mushrif. Only the mushrif knows the names of members of other cells.[38]

Year Timeline of significant events[39]
1953 Founding by Taqiuddin al-Nabhani in Jerusalem.
1956 Party yet to decide how it would assume authority.[40]
1960 HT begins "Interaction Stage" in Jordan. Society is unresponsive. Party revises its method.[40]
1961 HT adopts the method of seeking support from the influential faction(s) to assume power.[41]
1964 Announcement that society in Jordan has responded positively to its call,
forcing it to attempt to take power in that country.[42]
1968/69 HT allegedly involved in two (failed) coup attempts in Jordan and Syria.[43]
1974 HT allegedly involved in (failed) coup attempt in Egypt.[43]
1977 Founder and leader Taqiuddin al-Nabhani dies in Lebanon.
Succeeded by Abdul Qadeem Zallum, also a Palestinian cleric.[44]
1978 HT declares that the Muslims had reached a state of total surrender and despair
and are not responding to its call. Party acknowledges that this had caused the level of activity
to decline almost to standstill, mainly due to misconceptions.[45]
1997 Internal dispute known as "the Redress". Dissident members accuse the leadership of
Abdul Qadeem Zallum of deviating from party principles.
Dissenters are led by Abu Rami, a veteran member from the party inner circle.[46]
1998 HT declares that the Caliphate is now the wish of all the Muslims.[47]
2003 Leader Abdul Qadeem Zallum dies in Lebanon. Succeeded (earlier that year before his death) by
Ata Khalil Abu-Rashta, a Palestinian civil engineer.
2010–2016 Party works to ignite the Syrian Revolution and heavily invests in it,
hoping that the revolutionary fighters would unite under
HT's Islamic umbrella and agree upon an Islamic Caliphate.[48][49]

Policies[edit]

Khilafah/Caliphate[edit]

Hizb ut-Tahrir holds that it is not only the duty of Muslims to "re-establish the Khilafah state" or Caliphate, but the "most important obligation" of Muslims.[50] The "Khilafah is the state which is the true leadership of the Muslims. It rules them by the Qur’an and the Sunnah."[50][51] In article 3 of the HT Draft Constitution, we are told, "Once the Khaleefah (Caliph) has adopted a divine rule, that rule alone becomes the divine rule that must be enacted and then implemented. Every citizen must openly and secretly obey that adopted rule."

According to the Draft Constitution, the position should not be inherited through blood lines, or imposed on Muslims, but elected by them. Having elected him the Muslim community would give a pledge of loyalty (ba’iah) to him. It would have "no right to dismiss him after he has legitimately attained the ba’iah of contracting."[52]

[The Caliph] is the head of state in the Khilafah. He is not a king or dictator but an elected leader whose authority to rule must be given willingly by the Muslims through a special ruling contact called baya. Without this baya he cannot be the head of state. This is completely opposite to a king or dictator who imposes his authority through coercion and force. It argues the tyrant kings and dictators in the Muslim world are examples of this, imprisoning and torturing their populations and stealing their wealth and resources.[53]

The elected Caliph has considerable power, ruling a "unitary" (not federal) state where he appoints and dismisses the assistants (mu’aawineen) and the governors of the caliphate, the chief judge and most judges, as well the directors of departments, the heads of the armed forces and the generals; "who are all responsible to the Khaleefah and not to the Majlis al-Ummah".[54] There is also no limitation on the Khaleefah’s period in office, "so as long as he abides by the shara’".[55]

Also part of the Hizb ut-Tahrir proposed draft constitution is a Majlis al-Umma (Council for the Muslim community) for the Caliph, an institution for consultation and accountability of political rulers. The founder of Hizb ut-Tahrir, Taqiuddin an-Nabhani, is careful to note that Shura does not have the power that a parliament has in a Western representative democracy. While part of "the ruling structure" of the Islamic caliphate, it's "not one of its pillars." If the Caliph neglects the shura,

he would be negligent, but the ruling system would still remain Islamic. This is because the shura (consultation) in Islam is for seeking the opinion and not for ruling. This is contrary to the parliamentary system in democracy.[56]

However, in another book Nabhani states that when the Majlis makes a decision after the Caliph consults them it is binding on the Caliph to accept the decision; the Caliph's powers outlined in the draft proposed constitution refer only to foreign affairs when in a state of war that he considered existent during his life.[57]

HT see the Caliphate as eventually replacing not only Muslim states but Western ones. According to a HIzb ut-Tahrir pamphlet quoted by Dave Rich in the blog Left Foot Forward,

“In the forthcoming days the Muslims will conquer Rome and the dominion of the Ummah of Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him and his family) will reach the whole world and the rule of the Muslims will reach as far as the day and night. And the Dīn of Muhammad (saw) will prevail over all other ways of life including Western Capitalism and the culture of Western Liberalism”.[58]

Defence[edit]

Article 56 of the draft constitution of the proposed state describes conscription as a compulsory individual duty, for all citizens. "Every male Muslim, fifteen years and over, is obliged to undergo military training in readiness for jihad." Responsibility for defense in the state would go to the Amir al-Jihad. In Hizb ut-Tahrir's vision of the caliphate, the Amir al-Jihad "is the supervisor and director" of four departments comprising "the army, the police, equipment, tasks, armament supplies", internal security, foreign affairs, and finally industry — since "all factories of whatever type should be established on the basis of the military policy." However, the Khaleefah [Caliph], not the Amir al-Jihad, is the leader of the army, he appoints the commander-in-chief, a general for each brigade and a commander for each division."[59]

Democracy[edit]

Hizb ut-Tahrir rejects democracy as a western system and un-Islamic despite aspects of it such as elections existing in the Islamic political system. Hizb ut-Tahrir argues democracy as a system is

the rule of people, for the people, by the people. The basis of the democratic system is that people possess the right of sovereignty, choice and implementation. ... it is a Kufr system because it is laid down by man and it is not from the Shari'ah Laws.

HT writings have warned that democracy may lead to moral laxity and sexual deviancy:

Such abnormal and strange sexual practices have come to fill these low democratic countries. So homosexuality has increased between men, and lesbianism has increased between women, as well as sex with all animals ...[60][61]

Economy[edit]

The draft constitution also details an economic system that allows private enterprise, but reserves public ownership of utilities, public transport, health care, energy resources such as oil, and unused farm land (similar to communitarianism). However, it calls for use of the Gold Standard, gold and silver coinage. The draft constitution gives quite specific instructions for the gold and silver weight of the coins, arguing

... it is the duty of the Khilafah State to make its currency in gold and silver and to work on the basis of gold and silver as it was during the time of the Messenger of Allah and his Khulafa'a after him... to fix the weight of dinars equal to the Shari'ah dinar or 4.25 grams (of Gold) for one dinar... the dirham has the weight of 2.975 grams (of Silver). The basis of gold and silver as currency is the only way to solve currency related economic problems and the high inflation rates that are common in the world, and to produce currency stability for rates of exchange and progress in international trade.... Only by taking gold and silver as the standard, can the American control and the control of the dollar as an international currency, be demolished in international trade and world economies.[62]

Non-Muslims[edit]

In Hizb ut-Tahrir's draft constitution for its unified Islamic state, any non-Muslims living in the state may not serve in any of the ruling offices, such as the position of caliph, nor vote for these officials, as these positions require those who fulfil them to believe in the system. Muslims also have "the right to participate in the election of the Khaleefah [head of state] and in giving him the pledge (ba'iah). Non-Muslims have no right in this regard." However non-Muslims may voice "complaints in respect to unjust acts performed by the rulers or the misapplication of Islam upon them."

Hizb ut-Tahrir claims that:

rights of Jews and other non-Muslims are enshrined within statuary Islamic Law (Sharia). These were laid down by the Prophet Muhammad when he established the first Islamic State in Medina in the 7th century. He said, "Whoever harms a dhimmi (non-Muslim citizen who has agreed to pay the Jizya tax and submit themselves as a second-class citizen) has harmed me.... Non-Muslims in the khilafah (caliphate) will have established channels to air any grievances or denial of their rights. All citizens will be empowered with the right to speak out where necessary."[63]

In regards to foreign policy, Article 186 of the draft constitution states: "The State is forbidden to belong to any organisation that is based on something other than Islam or that applies non-Islamic rules". This includes organizations such as the UN, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund and the Arab League. Article 185 of the draft constitution states: "It is permitted to conclude good neighbouring, economic, commercial, financial, cultural and armistice treaties."

Rights or freedoms[edit]

Two areas in which Hizb ut-Tahrir rejects the notion of freedom are religion and economics. Article 7 of its Draft Constitution declares that Muslims who "have by themselves renounced Islam... are guilty of apostasy (ridda) from Islam [and] are to be executed." David Commins of Department of History at Dickinson College writes that, according to Hizb ut-Tahrir, "individuals do not have absolute freedom as in capitalism: Apostasy, adultery, alcohol, and certain economic practices are forbidden. But within well-recognized bounds, the Muslim enjoys much freedom."[64]

Article 10 of the Draft Constitution states, "the State will prevent anything that indicates the existence of a clergy among Muslims".[65] It is incumbent on Muslims to implement the hudud law, divinely ordained capital punishment for certain crimes. Hizb ut-Tahrir's constitution states that "every individual is innocent until proven guilty", "no person shall be punished without a court sentence" and that "torture is absolutely forbidden and whoever inflicts torture on anyone shall be punished." Article 7 of the constitution institutes capital punishment for ridda (see ridda article for various definitions). It maintains that under the caliphate, "Arabic is the language of Islam and the sole language of the state."

The only sources of legislation to be considered divine and statutory, and therefore to be accepted without debate, according to Article 12, are those based upon fair interpretations of the Qur'an, the Sunnah, consensus of the companions (Ijma al-Sahaba), and legitimate analogies (Qiyas) from the previous three.

The West[edit]

Hizb ut-Tahrir opposes any Western influence in the Muslim world. Its founder, Nabhani, has been described as preaching that "British plots in particular and western imperialist conspiracies in general pervade the modern history of the Muslim world and ultimately explain its main lines of political evolution."[4] In his book, The System of Islam, which is studied by all Hizb ut-Tahrir members, Nabhani states:

If not for the influence of the deceptive Western culture and the oppression of its agents that will soon vanish, then the return to the domain of Islam in its ideology and system would be quicker than the blink of an eye.[66]

According to the same book, the Muslim world has not lagged behind the West, East Asia, the Hindu or any other non-Muslim society because it has failed to borrow some political, cultural or social concepts of the West, but rather:

Muslim stagnation commenced the day they abandoned this adherence to Islam and ... allowed the foreign culture to enter their lands and the Western concepts to occupy their minds.[66]

In July 2013, Imam Ismat Al-Hammouri—a leader of the Jerusalem-based Hizb ut-Tahrir—called for the destruction of America, France, Britain, and Rome, during a gathering at the Al-Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan. He stated:

We warn you, oh America: Take your hands off the Muslims. You have wreaked havoc in Syria, and before that, in Afghanistan and in Iraq, and now in Egypt. Who do you think we are, America? We are the nation of Islam — a giant and mighty nation, which extends from east to west. Soon, we will teach you a political and military lesson, Allah willing. Allah Akbar. All glory to Allah.[67]

Al-Hammouri also warned US president Barack Obama that there will be an impending rise of a united Muslim empire that will instill religious law on all of its subjects.[67]

Women[edit]

The Hizb ut-Tahrir draft constitution states, "Women have the same rights and obligations as men, except for those specified by the shar’i evidences to be for him or her."[68] These limitations include not being able to hold ruling positions such as caliph, Chief Justice,[69] provincial governor, or mayor; being required to cover their body (except face and hands) in public, and not being allow to marry a non-Muslim, or when married to disobey her husband.[70] However, Hizb ut-Tahrir forthrightly advocates women's (i.e. Muslim women's) suffrage or right to vote,[71] the right of Muslim women to choose a Muslim partner freely, right to seek employment, serve in the military, have custody of children after divorce even if she is not Muslim,[72] and run in (non-ruling position) elections.[70]

The HT draft constitution states "the primary role of a woman is that of a mother and wife. She is an honour ('ird) that must be protected."[72] Article 109 of the party's draft constitution prescribes segregation of the sexes in public activities such as school, sporting activities, etc. Muslim women would be required to hide "their charms"[73] (i.e., their body, with the exception of hands and face), and so dress in accordance with khimar and jilbab,[74] although not necessarily with the niqab favoured by more fundamentalist movements.[75][76] Article 114 of the constitution specifies that women should not be allowed to be in private with men other than their husband or members of their immediate family (father, brother, son).

While opponents may consider this unequal status, Hizb ut-Tahrir maintains:

Women in the Khilafah are not regarded as inferior or second class citizens. Islam gave women the right to wealth, property rights, rights over marriage and divorce as well as a place in society. Very recently Islamists established a public dress code for women – the Khimar and Jilbab which promotes women to cover themselves up as "part of the well known attire of the dress code for Muslim women" based on "widely recognised Sunni sources".[77]

Zionism[edit]

Hizb ut-Tahrir strongly opposes Zionism and the state of Israel. Hizb ut-Tahrir pledges support for a "one state solution" for Israel and the Palestinians ("Palestine – why only a one state solution will work"), the one state being not a united secular state with no official religion usually thought of in that context (see: Binational solution), but rather the united HT Islamic state/caliphate which would include Palestine and where everyone, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, would follow statutory shariah Islamic law.[78]

Other statements by Hizb ut-Tahrir and officials have been less temperate. A 2001 statement removed from the Hizb ut-Tahrir website includes the statement, "In origin, no one likes the Jews except the Jews. Even they themselves rarely like each other".[79] Global head of Hizb ut-Tahrir, Ata Abu-Rishta is reported (at the Hizb ut-Tahrir August 2007 annual conference in Jakarta, Indonesia) to have "(...) whipped the 100,000-strong crowd into a frenzy by calling for a war on Jews."[21] Another source describes HT as supporting the "destruction of Israel", but seeing this as the job of the Caliphate, which must be founded first for this to take place.[80]

Charges of anti-semitism[edit]

In a 2000 article entitled "The Muslim Ummah will never submit to the Jews", Hizb ut-Tahrir lamented what it saw as the innate behavior of Jews:

... In origin, no one likes the Jews except the Jews. Even they themselves rarely like each other.... The American people do not like the Jews nor do the Europeans, because the Jews by their very nature do not like anyone else. Rather they look at other people as wild animals that have to be tamed to serve them. So, how can we imagine it being possible for any Arab or Muslim to like the Jews whose character is such?... Know that the Jews and their usurping state in Palestine will, by the Help and Mercy of Allah, be destroyed "until the stones and trees will say: O Muslim, O Slave of Allah. Here is a Jew behind me, so come and kill him."[79]

In October 2002, a court in Denmark handed down a 60-day suspended sentence to Fadi Abdelatif, Hizb ut-Tahrir's spokesman in Denmark, after he was found guilty of distributing racist propaganda. The leaflet he distributed contained a quote from the Quran: "And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out," followed by a passage stating: "the Jews are a people of slander... a treacherous people."[81]

In January 2003, Hizb ut-Tahrir was barred from public activity in Germany, German Interior Minister Otto Schily stating that the group was spreading violence and hate and had called for the killing of Jews.[82] Membership in the party is still permitted. The charges originate from a conference at the Technical University of Berlin, organized by a student society allegedly affiliated with Hizb ut-Tahrir. The furor was caused because the conference was attended by members of the neo-Nazi National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD), which allegedly sparked fears of an alliance between neo-Nazi groups and Islamists. Schily banned Hizb ut-Tahrir three months later, for going "against the concept of international understanding" contained in the German constitution, a charge that has been used in the past against neo-Nazi groups. The group's representative in Germany Assem Shaker responded that the group was not anti-Semitic. He added, "We do not call to kill Jews. Our call is addressed to the Muslim people to defend themselves against the Zionist aggression in Palestine. And they have the right to do so."[82]

In July 2005 Dilpazier Aslam, a 27-year-old British Muslim and trainee journalist with The Guardian, lost his position with the newspaper when it was exposed he was a member of Hizb ut-Tahrir. Citing the antisemitic statement discovered on the party's website, Guardian executives decided that membership of Hizb ut-Tahrir was not compatible with membership of the newspaper's trainee scheme. Aslam refused to leave the group, saying he was not an antisemite and did not consider Hizb ut-Tahrir's website to be antisemitic.[83] Dilpazier later sued for unfair dismissal and there was an out-of-court settlement.[83]

After allegations that party members had spread antisemitic propaganda, in 2004 the British National Union of Students imposed a No Platform order.[84] The party then resumed recruiting at British universities under the names "Stop Islamophobia,"[85] and "the Ideological Society".[86]

Position on violence[edit]

Hizb ut-Tahrir "has never been overtly involved in any violent actions", and has "long claimed it wants to achieve its objectives through nonviolent means", according to one unsympathetic source (Globalsecurity.org).[87] However, opposition to violence has been questioned.

Hizb ut-Tahrir states on its British website that it adopts the methods "employed by the Prophet Muhammad [who] limited his struggle for the establishment of the Islamic State to intellectual and political work. He established this Islamic state without resorting to violence."[88] In addition, seven days after the September 11, 2001 attacks Hizb ut-Tahrir issued a statement that "The rules of this Message forbids any aggression against civilian non-combatants. They forbid killing of children, the elderly and non-combatant women even in the battlefield. They forbid the hijacking of civilian aeroplanes carrying innocent civilians and forbid the destruction of homes and offices that contain innocent civilians. All of these actions are types of aggression that Islam forbids and Muslims should not undertake such actions."[89][90] The U.S. government, according to the Global Security thinktank, "has found no clear ties between Hizb ut-Tahrir and terrorist activity. Hizb ut-Tahrir has not been proven to have involvement in or direct links to any recent acts of violence or terrorism. Nor has it been proven to give financial support to other groups engaged in terrorism."[5]

The British branch of Hizb ut-Tahrir immediately condemned the 7 July 2005 London bombings.[91] Imran Waheed, the group's spokesperson in Great Britain, however, stated just after the bombings that "When Westerners get killed, the world cries. But if Muslims get killed in Iraq or Afghanistan, it's the smallest of news. I will condemn what happened in London only after there is the promise from Western leaders to condemn what they have done in Falluja and other parts of Iraq and in Afghanistan."[92] Waheed later stated that "The entire Muslim community has made its position on the London bombings clear — these actions have no justification as far as Islam is concerned."[93] The spokesperson of the Danish branch of Hizb-ut-Tahrir echoed Waheed's comments, calling the attacks un-Islamic but refraining from directly condemning them as long as the occupation of Iraq continued.[91]

Among those who question the group's opposition to violence in principle include the think tank Globalsecurity.org, which states that Hizb ut-Tahrir "is not against violence as such. It is just against the use of violence now."[87] Political scientist Emmanuel Karagiannis notes that Hizb ut-Tahrir's "justification" for non-violence lies in following the example of Islamic prophet Muhammad in Mecca, before the establishment of an Islamic state in Medina. Only after an Islamic state is established can jihad be lawfully declared and violence and military force used (according to HT). Karagiannis quotes HT: `when the Messenger of Allah waged wars, they were not fought by individual ... rather they were fought by individuals who belonged to a state. Therefore, the army was an army that belonged to a state.'[94]

On the issue of whether fighting non-Muslim perceived attackers/occupiers in Muslim majority lands ("defensive jihad") should wait for a caliphate, HT sources have offered differing approaches. A Hizb ut-Tahrir speaker in Palestine (Sheikh Abu Abdullah) declared in 2007 that the sending of poorly armed Palestinians today against the Israeli army was "fruitless." Instead Israel and its occupation of Palestinian lands should be dealt with later by the combined armies of Islam.[95] Karagiannis, however, quotes an HT pamphlet as saying `the martyrdom operations that are taking place against [the Jews] are legitimate. The whole of Palestine is a battlefield whether it is the parts usurped by the Jews in 1948, or afterwards.`[96] In 1991, on the eve of the first Gulf war, Omar Bakri Muhammad, who was instrumental in developing HT in the UK but later left it, was quoted in the Daily Star as calling on Muslims to assassinate Prim Minister John Major -- "We will celebrate his death"[6]—and calling Major a "legitimate target".[97] (Bakri "later claimed that this only meant" that Major "would be seen as such if he went to a Muslim country".)[97]

According to writer and broadcaster Ziauddin Sardar while "strictly speaking" HT has not advocated violence, its "politics of hatred" towards Jews and others, its intolerant beliefs—that "the idea of compromise does not exist in Islam," that only the HT political interpretation of Islam is valid and legitimate, and all must submit to it whether or not they agree with it—is a "natural precursor of, and invitation to, violence".[19]

Zeyno Baran of the Nixon Center and Ariel Cohen of the Heritage Foundation[6] argue that Hizb ut-Tahrir does not promote or engage in violence, not because it is waiting for the establishment of a Caliphate, but because it would endanger its legal status. According to them, HT acts as a "conveyor belt" for young Muslims, using its legality to more freely indoctrinate/radicalize them in "true" Islam, while other organizations handle the planning and execution of terrorist attacks.[95][98] An investigative journalist specialising in British terrorism, Shiv Malik sympathizes with the position, stating that it "is not without foundation.".[6][99] In support of this perspective, Malik quotes unnamed intelligence sources stating that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, and al-Qaeda leader Khalid Sheikh Mohammed are both former members of Hizb ut-Tahrir.[6] Omar Sharif, who attempted a suicide bombing in Israel in 2003, is also alleged to have been affililated with Hizb ut-Tahrir, but the group denies this, stating that "despite extensive investigations by the police and security services, including legal proceedings against members of the Sharif family, no link to Hizb ut-Tahrir has ever been proven."[100] The British government, in a classified report, discounted the conveyor belt theory, stating "We do not believe that it is accurate to regard radicalisation in this country as a linear 'conveyor belt' moving from grievance, through radicalisation, to violence … This thesis seems to both misread the radicalisation process and to give undue weight to ideological factors."[101]

Britain's National Union of Students has asked universities to ban Hizb ut-Tahrir from campuses, accusing the group of "supporting terrorism and publishing material that incites racial hatred."[102]

The Panorama programme on the BBC showed an August 2006 speech by Ata Abu-Rishta, the global leader of Hizb ut-Tahrir, in which he called for the "destruction" of Hindus living in Kashmir, Russians in Chechnya and Jews in Israel.[21]

The Terrorism Research Centre complained that the initial response to the London 7/7 bombings by the website HT 1924.org was not to condemn the killing of civilians, "but to urge British Muslims to be strong in the face of an anticipated backlash. The letter [on 1924.org] accuses [G-8] world leaders of taking advantage of the London attacks "to justify their ‘war on terror.'"[103] The full statement however does show a condemnation of the terrorist attacks.

Activity by region[edit]

The Heritage Foundation in the US reports the organization is active in 40 countries, with 5,000 to 10,000 "hardcore" members and tens of thousands of followers.[104] Shiv Malik in the New Statesmen magazine estimates Hizb ut-Tahrir has about one million members.[6] It is proscribed in Russia,[105] Kazakhstan,[106] Turkey, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan[107] and in all but 3 Arab countries.[108] It had a ban lifted on it by the Lahore High Court in Pakistan,[109] and it survived proposed bans in Australia and the UK after clearance from the intelligence services and police.[83][110]

Africa and the Arab world[edit]

Hizb ut-Tahrir is proscribed in many Arab countries, but is permitted to operate in the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon and Yemen.[108]

Throughout 2006 a spate of Hizb ut-Tahrir campaigns and related arrests took place throughout the Arab world. There were arrests in Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, and visible public activities in the Palestinian territories, Zanzibar, and Lebanon, enjoying growing support among senior army staff, government officials, and the intelligentsia.[111]

Egypt[edit]

According to Amnesty, four Muslim Britons and several Egyptians were tortured in Egypt for suspected affiliation with Hizb ut-Tahrir.[112] Eventually 26 were put on trial for what observers in Egypt considered "contradictory" and "weak" charges.[113]

The Egyptian government banned Hizb ut-Tahrir in 1974 after an alleged coup attempt. Since the Egyptian Revolution of 2011, Hizb ut-Tahrir has been increasingly active due to the lifting of the ban upon it. Hizb ut Tahrir has held demonstrations in Tahrir Square and has held conferences calling for the return of the Caliphate. Furthermore, Hizb ut Tahrir in Egypt appear on a weekly television show on the Khaleejia satellite TV channel called 'Thuma Ta Kuna Khilafah.'[citation needed]

Iraq[edit]

In 1969 when the son of Iraq's highest Shia Ayatollah Muhsin al-Hakim was arrested and allegedly tortured, during widespread persecution of Shia, 'Abd al-'Aziz al-Badri, a Sunni Islamic lawyer (Alim) and local Hizb ut-Tahrir leader, criticised the regime, and was killed under torture. A Sunni member of Hizb ut-Tahrir is thus seen as the first martyr for the rights of Shia in Iraq, against the old Baathist regime.[114] The party has called for Sunni, Shia, Arab and Kurdish citizens to unite in Iraq.[115] Two prominent HT members (Adel Al-Rammah and Ahmad Sadoon Al-Ubayde) were reportedly murdered there in 2006, their bodies showing signs of torture.[116] Regarding the hanging of former president of Iraq Saddam Hussain, Ismail Yusanto, spokesman of Hizb ut-Tahrir in Indonesia, said: "The punishment should have been given to Saddam, because Saddam killed many Iraqi people and also members of Hizb ut-Tahrir there," and that President Bush and Tony Blair "deserved no better."[117]

Palestine[edit]

According to a 2007 report by Globe and Mail reporter Mark MacKinnon, Hizb ut-Tahrir has been "capitalizing on public unhappiness with the recent bloodshed between the mainstream Hamas and Fatah movements that has split the Palestinian cause in two. A recent rally in the West Bank drew a crowd estimated in the tens of thousands." He quotes Hizb ut-Tahrir Sheik Abu Abdullah as preaching to Muslims

Why are we watching infidels prosper in this world and not stopping them? ... Muslims in China, Indonesia, Pakistan and everywhere in their thousands are asking for God's government through the Caliphate. They demand the return of God's rule on Earth.[95]

Jordan[edit]

Sheik Ahmad Abu Quddum is a spokesman for the Jordanian Tahrir party and calls for the establishment of a worldwide caliphate and destruction of all Jews.[118][119]

Libya[edit]

Under the regime of Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi, thirteen HT members were murdered according to the organization.[120] Mohammed M. Ramadan, a Libyan journalist and announcer at the BBC's Arabic section in London, was a member of Hizb ut-Tahrir and opposed to the regime of Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi. He was assassinated on 11 April 1980 by Libyan operatives outside London's Regent's Park Mosque. Several other members were killed in extrajudicial detention in Libya during the 1980s.[121] Hizb ut-Tahrir described its organization along with the Muslim Brotherhood as the "important organizations causing anxiety" for the Libyan regime with Hizb ut-Tahrir endorsing "armed resistance" and successfully recruiting "students from the universities and military academies."[122]

Syria[edit]

Prior to the civil war, in Syria, party members, along with their relatives and acquaintances, were subject to repeated extrajudicial arrest. Representatives of HT claimed that "1,200" of its members were arrested by Syrian security forces "in December 1999 and January 2000", according to the December 2000 issue of Middle East Intelligence Bulletin. Members of HT were among the political activists arrested in Syria in 2005 and tried before military courts, according to a 2006 report by Amnesty International.[123] HT reports that it is engaged in dawah in Syria as of 2013.[124]

Islamic State[edit]

While HT has been compared to Daesh and both groups share the goal of re-establishing a caliphate that unites the Muslim world, the groups have acted as competitors rather than allies.[125] In late 2014, HT reported that a "senior member" of its group had been executed by Daesh in Aleppo for “questioning Baghdadi’s self-proclaimed Caliphate”.[125][126] William Scates Frances argues that the groups are "embroiled in a bitter and ongoing feud" and are quite different in organizational structure, and—at least in Australia—in their supporters culture and demographics.[125]

Central Asia[edit]

Most Hizb ut-Tahrir in the former Soviet Union are ethnic Uzbeks.[5] Hizb ut-Tahrir has been accused by the governments of Central Asia of terrorist activity or illegal importation of arms into their countries. According to globalsecurity.org, the group "is believed by some to clandestinely fund and provide logistical support to a wide range of terrorist operations in Central Asia, and elsewhere, although attacks may be carried out in the names of local groups."[5] Human rights organizations and a former British Ambassador have accused central Asian governments of torturing Hizb ut-Tahrir members and violating international law in their campaigns against the group.[127]

"Rough estimates" of HT's strength in Central Asia range from 20,000 to 100,000 people.[128] Uzbekistan is thought to be "the hub" of Hizb ut-Tahrir’s activities in Central Asia.[128]

Azerbaijan[edit]

Hizb ut-Tahrir is though to have several hundred members in Azerbaijan as of 2002. Dozens of its members have been arrested.[129]

Kazakhstan[edit]

Hizb ut-Tahrir is banned by court in 2005 and is included in the national list of the terrorist and extremist organizations, which activity is forbidden in the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan.[130]

Kyrgyzstan[edit]

Hizb ut-Tahrir is banned in Kyrgyzstan.[131][132]

Tajikistan[edit]

Uzbekistan[edit]

In 1999, Hizb ut-Tahrir "was blamed for a series of bomb attacks in the Uzbekistan capital, Tashkent."[18] The Uzbek government reportedly withdrew its accusation of terrorism and blamed the IMU for terrorist attacks.[citation needed] According to Amnesty International, HT members may have been detained without charge or trial for lengthy periods, tortured and subject to unfair trials in connection with the killings of a pro-government imam and a high-ranking police officer in the capital Tashkent in July 2009.[133][134]

Among the claims made against Uzbek President Islam Karimov by Craig Murray, former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, have been that Hizb ut-Tahrir members were tortured into signing renunciations of their faith, to stop praying the five daily prayers of Islam (salat), and that two members who refused to do so were

... plunged into a vat of boiling water and ... died ... as a result. I didn't know that at the time, I just saw the photographs of this body in this appalling state; I couldn't work out what could account for it. I sent it to the pathology department of the University of Glasgow; there were a lot of photographs. The chief pathologist of the University of Glasgow, who is now chief pathologist of the United Kingdom, wrote that the only explanation for this was "immersion in boiling water".[135]

Uzbek officials "endeavored assiduously to tie" HT to four days of bombings from March 28 to April 1, 2004 that reportedly killed 47 people. A previously unknown group calling itself Islamic Jihad claimed to have committed the bombings.[136]

The 2006 killing of Imam Rafiq Qori Kamoluddin's by Kyrgyz and Uzbek security services, allegedly while he was on his way to fight jihad, was condemned by Hizb ut Tahrir.[137]

On December 10, 2014, in Zeytinburnu in Istanbul, an assassin killed the anti-Uzbekistan government Islamist Uzbek Imam Shaykh Abdullah Bukhoroy.[138][139][140][141][142][143][144] Hizb ut-Tahrir released statements on Islamist websites which attacked the Uzbek government of Islam Karimov and blamed them for the assassination.[145][146]

Russia[edit]

In February 2003, the Russian Supreme Court put Hizb ut-Tahrir and 14 other groups (Al-Kaida, Taliban, Muslim Brotherhood etc.) on a list of banned terrorist organizations.[5][147] The Russian government banned Hizb ut-Tahrir not for any terrorist activity, but because the government's definition of terrorism includes anyone who supports Chechen rebels in their cause for independence from Russia. In June 2003 Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) arrested 121 illegal immigrants suspected of having ties with Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami. "Moscow media reports said hand grenades, explosives, and ammunition ... as well as Islamic propaganda leaflets" were found on two of immigrants, Alisher Musayev of Kyrgyzstan and Akram Jalolov of Tajikistan.[5]

In 2005 nine people accused of links to HT, a "banned organization", were put on trial in Russia, just one of several trials on charges of association with the group around that time. Human rights groups have complained that authorities were increasingly becoming repressive and planting evidence on Muslims to justify charges.[148]

In 2010, three people were killed in Staroye Almetyevo, Tatarstan, reportedly in a shootout with Russian security forces. They were accused for recent bombing against a law enforcement facility. According to an Interior Ministry spokeswoman, there was "a 90 percent chance the liquidated terrorists belong to a banned Islamist organization, which could be Hizb ut-Tahrir."[149]

In October 2015, 20 supporters of Hizb ut-Tahrir, were detained in and around Moscow, and "up to 100 others" were under investigation, according to a "source in Moscow’s security services."[150]

Crimea[edit]

Hizb ut-Tahrir operates in Crimea among the Crimean Tatars.[151][152][153][154][155][156][157][158][159][160][161][162]

South and Southeast Asia[edit]

Indonesia and Malaysia[edit]

Hizb ut-Tahrir use to work openly in Malaysia and Indonesia and has never been banned in these two countries with dominantly Muslim population. It held an International Khilafah Conference in Indonesia on 12 August 2007 at the Bung Karno Stadium, which has a capacity of 100,000 people and thus has the joint 10th largest capacity for any stadium worldwide. The event was attended by around 100,000 people from international participants. On September 17, 2015 the Selangor (Malaysia) Fatwa Committee has declared Hizbut Tahrir a deviant group and said followers of the pro-Caliphate movement who continue to spread their ideologies and teachings in the state will face legal action. http://m.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/selangor-fatwa-outlaws-hizbut-tahrir-declares-group-deviant#sthash.oUy906sm.dpuf

Bangladesh[edit]

The party started its activities in Bangladesh in 2000,[163] and was banned by the government in 2009 "for its involvement in militant activities".[164] Despite that the group has "members and sympathisers in the administration, different security agencies, higher educational institutes, mosques and madrasas", and is active in "online and offline activities" such as websites and Facebook according to Mohammad Jamil Khan.[164]

On 19 January 2012, Bangladesh Army pointed to Hizb ut-Tahrir's involvement in a foiled coup plotted in December 2011 to topple the government. On 23 January 2012 Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) arrested Dr. Golam Haider Rasul, a physician of United Hospital of Dhaka for his connection with the organization.[165]

Pakistan[edit]

In Pakistan, Hizb ut-Tahrir was proscribed by Pakistani President General Musharraf in 2004. In October 2004, HT led a march of thousands to the Pakistani high commission in London, calling for the removal of Musharraf, declaring: "Pakistan Army: why are you silent?"[86] The ban was lifted in 2005.[166]

According to "a senior Obama Administration official" interviewed by journalist Seymour Hersh in 2009, "HT has penetrated the Pakistani military and now have cells in the Army." Hersh reports that the Pakistan Army denies this.[167]

About Hizb ut-Tahrir's activities in Pakistan and subsequent political crackdown Multan Bench of the Lahore High Court said in March 2005 : "Hizb ut-Tahrir has shown dissatisfaction on the policies of the [Pakistan] government that is the right of each and every citizen ... I am unable to understand as to how distribution of these pamphlets in the general public was termed as terrorism or sectarianism."[166]

Pakistani author Ahmed Rashid writes in Jihad: The Rise of Militant Islam in Central Asia, that there are "strong links and cooperation between the rank and file" of Hizb ut-Tahrir and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan especially when they are from the same village or town. However, according to Jean-François Mayer of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, the insinuation "that the party will turn violent and has links with the IMU" is inaccurate; the comments attributed to a member "contradicted the party's ideas". Representatives of Hizb ut-Tahrir report that they have repeatedly attempted to contact Ahmed Rashid in order to make their views known, but say they have not succeeded. They are even considering writing a rebuttal of his book.[168]

On 6 May 2011, Brigadier Ali Khan of Pakistan Army was detained, just four days after the US-led Abbottabad Operation; for his alleged links with Hizb-ut-Tahrir, official military sources said.[169]

Turkey[edit]

The Hizb ut-Tahrir is outlawed in Turkey. However, it is still in operation as a clandestine organization.[170] According to Today's Zaman, lieutenant Mehmet Ali Çelebi, detained in the Ergenekon investigations in 2008, allegedly had links with Hizb ut-Tahrir.[171] Çelebi was allegedly the key that made possible the arrest of five Hizb ut-Tahrir members in September 2008.[171] Despite the charges, Çelebi was found innocent. Although his cell phone was claimed to have sent signals for one minute and 22 seconds to the Fatih base station,[172] police officials (widely considered to be members of the Islamist Gülen movement)[citation needed] admitted that they had entered the group's phone numbers in Çelebi's phone by accident during the investigation.[173]

On 24 July 2009, Turkish police arrested almost 200 people suspected of being members of Hizb ut-Tahrir. [174]

Western countries[edit]

Australia[edit]

Hizb ut-Tahrir (Australia) has called for a, "Muslim army in Australia" to impose Sharia law in Australia and has said that, "Australia's democratic government has to go".[175] Hizb ut-Tahrir in Australia has been frequently spotted on Australian television encouraging followers and fellow Muslims to denigrate the Australian government and it's interaction with radical extremists in the Middle East. It was reported that Man Haron Monis the gunman who took hostages in a siege at the Lindt Chocolate Café in Sydney, was radicalised by members of Hizb ut-Tahrir.[176] A speech was made in Sydney in July 2014 by the Australian leader of Hizb ut-Tahrir, Ismail al-Wahwah where he called for a jihad against the Jewish people. This speech has become the subject of a complaint to the NSW Anti-discrimination Board.[177] In another Sydney sermon, possibly delivered in February 2015, he said in relation to the Jews that, "There is only one solution for that cancerous tumor: It must be uprooted and thrown back to where it came".[178] Hizb ut-Tahrir has more than 300 members in Australia.[179]

Denmark[edit]

Hizb ut-Tahrir demonstrating in Copenhagen.

Hizb ut-Tahrir is legal in Denmark but ran into controversy in 2002, when it distributed leaflets in Copenhagen that a Danish court determined were racist propaganda. Imran Khan of the BBC program "Newsnight" described the leaflet as follows:

In March and April 2002, Hizb Ut Tahrir handed out leaflets in a square in Copenhagen, and at a mosque. The leaflet also said, 'The Jews are a people of slander... a treacherous people... they fabricate lies and twist words from their right context.' And the leaflet describes suicide bombings in Israel as "legitimate" acts of "Martyrdom".[180]

In August 2006, Fadi Abdelatif, Hizb ut-Tahrir's spokesperson in Denmark, was given a suspended 60-day jail sentence for distributing the leaflet.[181] Abdelatif was also found guilty of threats against the Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen.[182] The court rejected his claims that he was just quoting from the Koran, that it was an act of free speech and that it was aimed only at the Israeli state and not Jews.[180]

In 2007 Berlingske Tidende reported that a kindergarten in Copenhagen was being run in line with the ideology of Hizb ut-Tahrir.[183] Also that year, several well known imams in Copenhagen attended a convention of Hizb ut-Tahrir and announced that they were willing to work together towards mutual goals. This move attracted criticism from a variety of Muslim and non-Muslim voices.[184]

Germany[edit]

German police expelled a member of the party from Germany for alleged ties to one of the hijackers involved in the 11 September 2001 attacks. However, German police said the raids and searches in offices and homes revealed little.[82] The German government then banned Hizb ut-Tahrir from public activity after a charge of distributing antisemitic propaganda (see above section on Controversy over anti-Semitism). The anti-semitism charges were not upheld in German courts, but the ban was continued based on the state's finding that the group's activity opposed the idea of understanding among nations and endorsed force as a means towards its political aims. A lawsuit against the ban was rejected on 23 January 2006 by the Federal Administrative Court in Germany. The organization appealed the ban to the European Court, stating in 2008:[185]

"We note that the German courts did not uphold any of the German Interior Ministries accusations of anti-Semitism against HT, however, they have now relied on an obscure principle of the 'idea of international understanding' to ban all of our activities (speeches, study circles, articles, vigils, political meetings, books, magazines, and debates)."

Netherlands[edit]

Hizb ut-Tahrir Indonesia spokesperson, Ismail Yusanto said to Nikolaos van Dam, the Dutch ambassador for Indonesia that the Dutch government is responsible for the Fitna (film) of Geert Wilders and declared aslim taslam (submit to Islam).[186]

United Kingdom[edit]

The HT group in the UK was founded in 1986 by Syrian-born Omar Bakri Muhammad, who led it until 1996. Under his leadership Hizb ut-Tahrir grew from a very small organization to one of the most active Islamic organizations in the country. The group is or was known for holding meetings following a format where the "speaker from the group expand[s] on a subject for around 40 minutes. The audience, almost always students and professionals in their 20s and 30s, listen and then pepper the speaker with questions".[86] As in other countries the group urged Muslims to boycott elections, as participation in "the secular politics" of the country would lead to assimilation.[187]

According to Faisal al Yafai, in the mid-1990s, Hizb was "a fixture on university campuses, organising societies and debates. Its rhetoric was fierce and angry. Then it went silent."[86] According to ex-Hizb ut-Tahrir associate Maajid Nawaz, Omar Bakri encouraged its members to engage in vigilantism against non Muslims and Muslim women:

"We were encouraged by Omar Bakri to operate like street gangs and we did, prowling London, fighting Indian Sikhs in the west and African Christians in the east. We intimidated Muslim women until they wore the hijab and we thought we were invincible."[188]

In 1996 Bakri split with Hizb ut-Tahrir over disagreements on policy, style and methods, and focused on another organization Al-Muhajiroun.[189]

A 2007 report in Foreign Affairs Journal claims that Hizb ut-Tahrir "dominates" the British Islamist "scene" with some 8,500 members in the United Kingdom, compared to only 1,000 for a rival, Muslim Association of Britain.[190]

According to another ex-Hizb ut-Tahrir associate Ed Husain, "Britain remains vital to the Hizb, for it gives the group access to the global media and provides a fertile recruiting ground at mosques and universities."[191]

Hizb ut-Tahrir in Britain emphasized the importance of Muslims choosing loyalty to their religion above loyalty to Britain or any other country.[192] In Hizb ut-Tahrir's view, Islam is anti-nationalist, transnational and pan-Islamic in nature. In a promotional video shown on BBC News a group representative asked:

I think Muslims in this country need to take a long, hard look at themselves and decide what is their identity. Are they British or are they Muslim? I am a Muslim. Where I live, is irrelevant.[180]

Following the 7 July 2005 London bombings the British government announced its intention to ban the organization[193] but abandoned its plans. According to The Independent Blair "shelved the ban after warnings from police, intelligence chiefs, and civil liberties groups that it is a non-violent group, and driving it underground could backfire."[110][194] and according to the Observer because the Home Office believed a legal ban would not stick.[195]

In July 2007, Leader of the Opposition David Cameron asked the new Prime Minister Gordon Brown why the organisation had not been banned from the United Kingdom, arguing it was an extremist group. Gordon Brown responded that more evidence would be needed before banning a group and, when pressed further, John Reid the previous home secretary stepped in arguing that there had already been two reviews of the group with insufficient evidence to justify a ban.[196][197]

In November 2009, Cameron again questioned the Government over Hizb ut-Tahrir, claiming that government Pathfinder fund aimed at combating violent extremism was being used to fund schools run by an organisation with links to extremism.[198] He later acknowledged that this statement was an error as another government fund was perceived.[199]

In November 2006, the BBC reported that a street gang in South London, which claimed to be Hizb ut-Tahrir, encouraged an undercover reporter to rob another gang to "prove his loyalty". The short documentary ended with the reporter claiming that the gang may be a lone out-of-control group simply influenced by Hizb ut-Tahrir's notoriety. Abdul Wahid when questioned on the program condemned the behaviour, asked the BBC to hand over all material to the police, said he would be extremely surprised if any of the gang were members of his organisation, and that if they were, he would have them removed.[200]

In Luton in 2006, Shabina Begum who won a landmark court battle allowing her to wear a jilbab to school. Local Labour MPs accused her older brother (Shuweb Rahman) of engineering the case because of his alleged support for HT.[201]

United States[edit]

Hizb ut-Tahrir America, based in Chicago, was reportedly founded by Dr. Mohammed Malkawi, who is an adjunct professor at Argosy University-Chicago.[202] The group held its first conference in the United States in 2009. However, a subsequent attempt to hold a conference in 2010 at the Chicago Marriott Oak Brook hotel was cancelled after the hotel dropped the group's reservation. In 2012, the group attempted to hold its annual conference entitled "Revolution: Liberation by Revelation – Muslims Marching Toward Victory" conference at the Meadows Club, but this was also cancelled after the club pulled out due to criticism.[203]

Reza Iman, who is a spokesperson for the group, claimed that the group has been active in the United States for almost 30 years, and defended Hizb ut-Tahrir's activities, stating in an interview that "The call is not to bring that [an Islamic caliphate] here to this country or anything of that sort. The message is for Muslim countries to return to Islamic values." DePaul University history professor Thomas Mockaitis stated that "I have not seen any evidence they have engaged in violent activity in the U.S." and that the group's views and goals, while controversial, did not warrant its labeling as a terrorist group.[204]

Zaher Sahloul, who is the chairman of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago and president of the Mosque Foundation of Bridgeview, stated that "[Hizb ut-Tahrir's is] on the fringes of the political Islamic groups. They are very vocal and they target young Muslims in college (who) are attracted to their ideologies. They tend to disrupt lectures, Friday prayers. Most of the time they are kicked out from mosques." Sahloul added that "We cannot deny people of speaking freely, but we believe that these kind of radical ideologies are not helpful."[204]

At a conference in Jordon in June 2013, Dr. Malkawi stated (as translated by MEMRI) "Let Britain, America, and the entire West go to hell, because the Caliphate is coming, Allah willing." Regarding US President Barack Obama, Malkawi stated "Obama says to you, in Syria, Egypt, and elsewhere: 'I have chosen heresy as a religion for you.' Will you accept heresy as your religion, oh Muslims? Say: 'Allah Akbar." [205]

Turkish American scholar Zeyno Baran described the organization as a "conveyor belt for terrorists."[203]

Prominent members[edit]

Hizb ut-Tahrir was founded and led by Taqiuddin an-Nabhani from 1953 to 1977. He was succeeded by Shaykh Abdul Qadeem Zallum who led HT until his death in 2003. He was succeeded by Ata Abu Rashta who is currently HT's leader.[206]

  • Shaykh Taqiuddin al-Nabhani (founder, deceased)
  • Shaykh Ahmed Dauor (Jordanian parliamentarian 1955–1957, deceased)
  • Shaykh Abdul Qadeem Zallum (second leader, deceased)
  • Shaykh Ata Abu Rashta (current global leader of Hizb ut-Tahrir)
  • Sheikh Ahmad Abu Quddum tahrir party Jordan[207][208]
  • Osman Bakhach (Central Media Office Spokesman)
  • Jamal Harwood (Former Chairman of UK Executive Committee)
  • Taji Mustafa (UK spokesman)
  • Dr Imran Waheed (former UK spokesman 2001–2006)
  • Dr Nazreen Nawaz (UK women's media representative)[209]
  • Dr Abdul Wahid (Chairman of UK Executive Committee)[210]
  • Shaykh Ali Syed Abul-Hassan (Imam of Masjid as-Sahaba, Khartoum, Sudan spokesman, deceased)
  • Mohammad Nafi Abdul-Karim Salih (Jordanian member, deceased)
  • Shaykh Mahmoud Abdul-Latif Uweidah — Abu Iyas (prominent Jordanian Member)
  • Shaykh Taleb Awadallah (Palestinian member from al-Khalil, Hebron)
  • Shaykh Yusuf Ba'darani (Lebanese member)
  • Shaykh Abdul-Aziz Badri (Iraqi member, deceased)
  • Ashraf Doureihi (a prominent Australia member)
  • Wassim Doureihi (former Australia spokesperson)
  • Soadad Doureihi (a prominent Australia member)
  • Mohammed AbdulWahhab (a prominent Australia member)
  • Uthman Badar (Australian spokesperson)
  • Hamzah Qureshi (a prominent Australia member)
  • Naveed Butt (Pakistan spokesperson)
  • Imran Yousufzai (Pakistan spokesperson)
  • Yilmaz Celik (Turkey spokesperson)
  • Ridha Belhaj (Tunisia spokesman)
  • Hassan Al-Dahi (Kuwait spokesman)
  • Mahmood Tarshooby (Egypt spokesman)
  • Maher Al-Jabari (Palestine spokesman)
  • Shaker Assem (Germany spokesman)
  • Muhammad Ismail Yusanto (Indonesia spokesman)
  • Abdul Hakim Othman (Malaysia spokesperson)
  • Shaykh Ibrahim Othman — Abu Khalil (Sudan spokesman)
  • Mohiuddin Ahmed (Bangladesh Chief Coordinator and Spokesperson)
  • Farhad Usmanov (Uzbekistan, deceased in prison)
  • Okay Pala (Netherlands spokesperson)
  • Abdul Salam (USA member)
  • Hafidz Abdurrahman, (prominent leading member of Hizb ut-Tahrir Indonesia)
  • Shaykh Ahmad al-Qasas (Lebanon Spokesperson)
  • Behzaad Domun (Mauritius representative)

Books[edit]

The book The Islamist by Ed Husain, reveals the inner workings of the political organisation. It follows the path of a young man coming to terms with his extremist/Islamist mindset. He describes how violence and the increasing radicalisation of the group eventually lead to him cutting all ties and resigning from the head of the local group at Tower Hamlets University.[211] The author, now a moderate Muslim, is opposed to the ideology of Hizb ut-Tahrir and critical of the consequences of political Islam poisoning young minds.

Radical: My Journey out of Islamist Extremism is Maajid Nawaz's autobiography. It partly recounts his time as a recruiter for Hizb ut-Tahrir, his imprisonment in Egypt from 2002 to 2006, and his release after being cited as a "prisoner of conscience" by Amnesty International. In 2007, he left HT and co-founded the Quilliam Foundation with Ed Husain, an organization focused on countering extremism in the Muslim World. Radical was released in the UK in 2012; a US edition was published by Lyons Press in October 2013 with a preface for US readers and an updated epilogue.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Gross, Ariela (2012). Reaching wa'y. Mobilization and Recruitment in Hizb al-Tahrir al-Islami. A Case Study conducted in Beirut. Berlin: Klaus Schwarz. ISBN 3-87997-405-5. 
  • Hamid, Sadek (2007). "Islamic Political Radicalism in Britain: the case of Hizb-ut-Tahrir". In Tahir Abbas. Islamic Political Radicalism: A European Perspective. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. pp. 145–59. ISBN 0-74863-086-4. 
  • Taji-Farouki, Suha (1996). A Fundamental Quest: Hizb al-Tahrir and the Search for the Islamic Caliphate. London: Grey Seal. ISBN 1-85640-039-5. 
  • Valentine, S. R. (13 May 2010). "Monitoring Islamic Militancy: Hizb-ut-Tahrir: "The Party of Liberation"". Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice 4 (4): 411–420. doi:10.1093/police/paq015. 
  • Valentine, Dr. Simon Ross (12 February 2010). "Fighting Kufr and the American Raj: Hizb-ut-Tahrir in Pakistan" (PDF). Brief Number 56. Pakistan Security Research Unit (PSRU) at the University of Bradford. Retrieved 19 March 2014. 
  • Valentine, S. R. (December 2009). "Hizb-ut-Tahrir in Pakistan". American Chronicle. 

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Q&A: Hizb ut-Tahrir". BBC News. 10 August 2007. Retrieved 15 January 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "Media Office of Hizb-ut-Tahrir. About Hizb ut-Tahrir". Hizb-ut-Tahrir. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 14 January 2016. 
  3. ^ "Can the Muslim world really unite?". hizb.org.uk. March 4, 2010. Retrieved 15 January 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c Commins, David (1991). "Taqi al-Din al-Nabhani and the Islamic Liberation Party" (PDF). The Muslim World 81 (3–4): 194–211. doi:10.1111/j.1478-1913.1991.tb03525.x. Retrieved 19 March 2014. 
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External links[edit]