Glyn Gaskarth: We must respond to Hizb ut Tahrir's declaration of war on America
Hizb ut Tahrir’s Pakistan branch has effectively declared war on America (as reported by the Civitas think tank). Labour promised to ban Hizb ut Tahrir in August 2005. However, Hizb ut Tahrir is still legal in Britain. This group preaches Islamic worldwide domination. It endangers the cohesion of our community. It threatens our long term security. We do not need more Government excuses. We know this group is a threat. We must ban it now.
Hizb ut Tahrir’s constitution is completely opposed to the tolerant Britain we wish to create. It prescribes the death penalty for apostates (Article 7) and wants to ban all parties not founded on Islam e.g. the Labour and Conservative party (Article 102). Non Muslims will not be allowed to vote (Article 105) and will face a discriminatory tax (Article 140). Britain is to be abolished and incorporated into a new Islamic caliphate. Until Britain becomes part of this Caliphate, it along with America, France and Russia is listed as one of the “potentially belligerent states” on the path to the Caliphate. Therefore, this group advocates the abolition of our state, second class status for most of our citizens and is contemplating conflict with our country. Now we can reveal that the groups Pakistan branch has formally advocated attacks on America, our major ally. This is a group that is legal in Britain and thereby able to fundraise and recruit. Our Government needs to respond appropriately.
The current response has been confused. The pledge to ban Hizb ut Tahrir has been discarded. This group is now being monitored. This is to say we watch while British Muslim youth is indoctrinated to hate our country. Opponents of a ban cite three reasons for their stance. They suggest the group is not linked with terrorism, that it is small and powerless and that free societies should allow non violent criticism however extreme. These reasons no longer hold water. Let us now explore why each of these objections to a ban is wrong.
But they are not linked with terrorism are they?
Hizb ut Tahrir officially opposes the use of violence in the methods section of their site. However, their Pakistan branch is now publically advocating attacks on America and this statement has been publicised on the British group’s site. Thereby if they were peaceful they are clearly not peaceful now.
Terrorist acts are just the tip of the iceberg. We are in a conflict of ideas and Hizb ut Tahrir is the kindergarten of the other side. Conditioning British Muslims to hate Britain and live separate lives creates a climate in which violence against Britain becomes acceptable. Zeyno Baran, Director of International Security and Energy programmes at the Nixon Center describes how “Hizb produces thousands of manipulated brains, which then graduate from Hizb and become members of groups like al-Qaeda”. Thereby “even if Hizb does not itself engage in terrorist acts, because of the ideology it provides, it acts like a conveyor belt for terrorists.” It is notable that the group’s recent complaint to OFCOM that Panorama incorrectly suggested they promoted hatred of non Muslims was rejected. Banning Hizb would stop the indoctrination of British Muslims into this malevolent organisation with its extremist ideology.
But aren’t they small and insignificant?
Hizb ut Tahrir are small compared to other UK political parties. However, many of those that have planned and carried out attacks were at one time Hizb ut Tahrir members. Mr Shiraz Maher, presenter of a Panorama programme on the group revealed he met Bilal Abdulla and Kafeel Ahmed, the two men suspected of driving an explosive-laden jeep into Glasgow Airport, through this group. The Hudson Institute has documented the extensive terrorist links of one time Hizb members and/or those influenced by Hizb’s teachings in this comprehensive study. Clearly our Government needs to confront those who propagate this ideology as well as those who seek to commit actual terror plots.
But surely we should allow non violent extremists to operate?
Opponents of a ban believe our free society should allow those who preach our destruction to voice their ideas. We can then engage them in a free debate and win this debate. They are correct. However, they misunderstand the Hizb threat. This Hizb declaration of war proves the group is not requesting a polite debate about the merits of democracy. A Hizb concept document states “jihad is a war against anyone who stands against the call to Islam, whether he is an aggressor or not.” They advocate world domination through violent conflict. Many of our allies have already banned this group, including Germany. We must recognise that a free society is not a mutual suicide pact. There is a responsibility to protect our citizens against groups which oppose the “free and democratic foundation of the state”. Hizb ut Tahrir pose a threat to Britain and Britain must respond.
We must ban Hizb ut Tahrir because they undermine our society. We must ban them because they have declared war on our ally. We can show solidarity with America and act to protect our society by banning Hizb ut Tahrir now. It is the right policy. We must adopt it immediately.