Familiar with the name Hizbut Tahrir?
You should be. Because for over a decade, this extremist Muslim group has been cheerfully using Britain as a recruiting ground. In particular, Hizbut Tahrir (HT) favours luring naive students to its cause.
And while even repressive Saudi Arabia had the sense to ban HT, the powers that be here in Britain haven’t lifted so much as a finger against the group. Is that going to change now that HT has yet again publicly called for Jews to be killed…?
Now I must confess a personal interest in this group. Some years ago, when I was a postgraduate student, I managed to get an article on Israel accepted by one of the student newspapers. Literally within two hours of the paper agreeing to run it, I was summoned for a ‘chat’ with the editor, and two very polite, smiling Muslims students. And that was my first encounter with Hizbut Tahrir. These two HT members were ‘unhappy’ with my article.
They hadn’t read it, you understand. But they guessed from my name that I might be Jewish and on those grounds alone, they ‘would urge you to withdraw the piece’.
Of course, I refused.
And they stopped smiling. What followed was a three day saga which saw HT warning the head of the student union at the Uni that there ‘might be repercussions’ if my article ran.
Things started getting unpleasant. Threats were made – against me. By this time I’d managed to get more info on Hizbut Tahrir and was feeling more than a little nervous.
After much debate and arguing between the student union and the newspaper staff, a vote was taken and by a majority of ONE, the decision to print my article was taken.
In the years since then, I’ve read several, and indeed penned a few, articles on Hizbut Tahrir. They now have a presence on virtually every single university campus in the country.
In August 2005, shortly after the London tube bombings, Tony Blair declared a crackdown on Islamic extremism and promised: “We will proscribe Hizb ut-Tahrir and the successor organisation of Al Mujahiroun.”
He broke his word. Well, no surprise there.
Then, at the start of 2009, HT held a mass rally at Marble Arch. Speaking about Israel, Dr Imran Waheed – the group’s media adviser in Britain said:
“There is no need for conferences, no need for treaties, no need for negotiations. There will be no peace and no negotiations with the illegitimate entity of Israel.”
He also stated: “There is only one solution to the occupation of Muslim lands, fight in the way of Allah those who fight you. Al-Jihad.”
And on the HT website, a leaflet condemns Muslim countries that have attended peace talks as “shameful”.
Hizbut Tahrir were distributing this leaflet at the Marble Arch rally. It also states: “Instead, it is their duty to eliminate the state of Jews.”
And what does our Home Office have to say?
” The group’s status is being reassessed in light of the latest remarks but the decision to proscribe an organisation must be “proportionate”….
Meanwhile, Patrick Mercer, Tory chairman of the Commons Counter-Terrorism Subcommittee, insists Dr Waheed’s comments represent “incitement to violence”.
I’ve written to my local MP to raise the issue of finally banning Hizbut Tahrir. I would urge all those reading this to do the same.