22 July 2005

The Truth about Hizb ut-Tahrir

This is the organisation that the sacked Guardian trainee journalist, Dilpazier Aslam, has openly admitted he belongs to;

Hizb ut-Tahrir.

It is a legal, non-violent organisation that has no links to terrorism and no terrorist has ever been a member of it.

Yes, it has extreme irrational views. It wants the unification of all Muslims into one state- the Caliphate under Sharia law. There are many such groups of all religions.

There are far worse organisations than this, arguably the BNP, Jehovah's Witnesses, countless scientology cults etc etc.

Also, banning such organisations and ostracising its members is likely to make them even more extreme.

Sharia Law unfortunately is the belief of all Muslims. We all know about it's stoning of homosexuals law etc.

If we are going to ban organisations like Hizb ut Tahrir, we might as well ban Islam and the Koran because there is just as extreme views there.

All Muslims will openly tell you that homosexuality is immoral and that the Koran condones their stoning. The more Westernised moderate Muslims i.e. the majority in this country, will shuffle embarrassingly and mutter that it is outdated or only applies in extreme circumstances (whatever that means) but they believe it non the less. I could go on...

But the point I'm making, is we on the Left shouldn't be taking our cue from right wing papers like the Times, Telegraph etc.

We are as ignorant of fundamentalist Islam as we were of the IRA and the Irish situation 20 years ago. It took the IRA twenty years to realise that blowing up innocent people was getting them nowhere. Only when the IRA started targeting the political establishment (e.g. the Brighton bomb) did the establishment start talks. Lets hope we havn't got that long to wait this time.

More than ever this is the time for us to keep an open mind and not join the misguided rightwing hysteria bandwagon.


  1. Um, don't agree.

    Wanting a united Ireland is one thing, wanting to overhaul democracy and bring us all under a Caliphate is another. Any idea that we open a dialogue with these people suggests that we take their wishes and views seriously. And we don't, do we?

  2. Like I say HuT are a crackpot outfit but a lot of Muslims are taking notice of organisations like this. While such a large number of Muslims are disenchanted with the Western governments policies in the Middle East, they are open to being sucked in to these orgs.

    Most Muslims don't want a Caliphate but they do want justice in the Middle East. Make some progress here, even just slight and we stem the flow of Muslims into the extremists hands. Progress in the Middle East is in our interests as well. Our present policies are not progress. Before Sharon there were no suicide bombers. We have got to make serious inroads into a solution of the Palestinian problem and then there is the bigger problem of our energy reliance on oil....

  3. Here are the suicide bombings which took place prior to Sharon coming to power in March 2001:

    Apr 13 94 Rahamim Mazgauker, 34, of Hadera; David Moyal, 26 of Ramat Gan, an Egged mechanic; Daga Perda, 44, who immigrated from Ethiopia in 1991; Bilha Butin, 49, of Hadera; and Sgt. Ari Perlmutter, 19, of Ir Ovot in the Arava were killed in a suicide bombing attack on a bus in the central bus station of Hadera. HAMAS claimed responsibility for the attack.

    Oct 19 94 In a suicide bombing attack on the No. 5 bus on Dizengoff Street in Tel-Aviv, 21 Israelis and one Dutch national were killed: Haviv Tishbi, 54, of Tel Aviv; Moshe Gardinger, 83, of Tel Aviv; Pnina Rapaport, 74, of Tel Aviv; Galit Rosen, 23, of Holon; Zippora Ariel, 64, of Tel Aviv; David Lida, 74, of Tel Aviv; Puah Yedgar, 56, of Givatayim; Dalia Ashkenazi, 62, of Tel; Aviv Esther Sharon, 21, of Lod; Ofra Ben-Naim, 33, of Lod; Tamar Karlibach-Sapir, 24, of Moshav Zafaria; Shira Meroz-Kot, 20, of Kibbutz Beit Hashita; Miriam Adaf, 54, of Sderot; Anat Rosen, 21, of Ra'anana; Salah Ovadia, 52, of Holon; Eliahu Wasserman, 66, of Bat Yam; Alexandra Sapirstein, 55, of Holon; Dr. Pierre Atlas, 56, of Kiryat Ono; Ella Volkov, 21, of Safed; Ayelet Langer-Alkobi, 26, of Kibbutz Yiron; Kochava Biton, 59, of Tel Aviv; Rinier Yurest, 23, of the Netherlands.

    Jul 24 95 Moshe Shkedi, 75, of Ramat Gan; Rahel Tamari, 65, of Tel Aviv; Zviya Cohen, 62, of Tel Aviv; Zahava Oren, 60, of Tel Aviv; Nehama Lubowitz, 61, of Tel Aviv; and Mordechai Tovia, 37, of Tel Aviv were killed in a suicide bomb attack on a bus in Ramat Gan

    Aug 21 95 Rivka Cohen, 26, of Jerusalem; Hannah Naeh, 56, of Jerusalem; Joan Davenney, 46, of Connecticut; and Police Chief Superintendent Noam Eisenman, 35, of Jerusalem were killed in a suicide bombing of a Jerusalem bus

    Feb 25 96 In a suicide bombing of bus No. 18 near the Central Bus Station in Jerusalem, 26 were killed (17 civilians and 9 soldiers).
    The civilians:
    Daniel Biton, 42; Yitzhak Elbaz, 57, Boris Sharpolinsky, 64; Semion Trakashvili, 60; Yitzhak Yakhnis, 54; Peretz Gantz, 61; Anatoly and Jana Kushnirov, 36 and 37; Masuda Amar, 59; Swietlana Gelezniak, 32; Celine Zaguri, 19 - all of Jerusalem; Navon Shabo, 22, of Bnei Brak; Michael Yerigin, 16, of Kibbutz Maabarot; Matthew Eisenfeld, 25 and Sara Duker, 23, of the United States.
    Wael Kawasmeh, 23, of East Jerusalem, and Ira Yitzhak Weinstein, 53, of Maaleh Adumim, later died of their wounds.
    The soldiers:
    Sgt. Yonatan Barnea, 20; St-Sgt. Gavriel Krauss, 24; St.-Sgt. Gadi Shiloni, 22; Cpl. Moshe Reuven, 19; St.-Sgt. Maj. (res.) Arye Barashi, 39; Cpl. Iliya Nimotin, 19; Cpl. Merav Nahum, 19; Sgt. Sharon Hanuka, 19; Arik Gaby, 16 (student in pre-army boarding school) - all of Jerusalem.
    HAMAS claimed responsibility for the attack.

    Feb 25 96 Sgt. Hofit Ayyash, 20, of Ashdod was killed in an explosion set off by a suicide bomber at a hitchhiking post oustide Ashkelon. HAMAS claimed responsibility for the attack.

    Mar 3 96 In a suicide bombing of bus No. 18 on Jaffa Road in Jerusalem, 19 were killed (16 civilians and 3 soldiers).
    The civilians:
    Maya Birkan, 59; Naima Zargary, 66; Gavriel Shamashvili, 43; Shemtov Sheikh, 63; Anna Shingeloff, 36; Raya Daushvili, 55; George Yonan, 38 - all of Jerusalem; Sarina Angel, 45, of Beit Jalla; Gidi Taspanish, 23, a tourist from Ethiopia; Valerian Krasyon, 44, a tourist from Romania; Dominic Lunca, 29; Daniel Patenka, 33; Marian Grefan, 40; Mirze Gifa, 39; Dimitru Kokarascu, 43 - all Romanian workers.
    Imar Ambrose, 51, of Romania, died on March 9.
    The soldiers:
    Sgt. Yoni Levy, 21, of Jerusalem; Sgt. Haim Amedi, 19, of Jerusalem; Senior NCO Uzi Cohen, 54, border policeman of Jerusalem.

    Mar 4 96 Outside Dizengoff Center in Tel-Aviv, a suicide bomber detonated a 20-kilogram nail bomb, killing 13 (12 civilians and 1 soldier):
    Bat-Hen Shahak, 15, of Tel Mond; Hadas Dror, 15, of Tel Mond; Kobi Zaharon, 13, of Tel Aviv; Inbar Atiya, 21, of Ramat-Efal; Dan Tversky, 58, of Tel Aviv; Dana Gutman, 14, of Moshav Mishmeret; Yovav Levy, 13, of Tel Aviv; Leah Mizrahi, 60, of Tel Aviv; Tali Gordon, 24, of Givatayim; Rahel Sela, 82, of Tel Aviv; Sylvia Bernstein, 73, of Hod Hasharon; Gail Belkin, 48, of Herzliya; St.-Sgt. Assaf Wachs, 21, of Holon.

    Mar 21 97 Michal Avrahami, 32, Yael Gilad, 32, and Anat Winter-Rosen, 32, were killed when a suicide bomber detonated a bomb on the terrace of a Tel Aviv cafe. 48 people were wounded.

    Jul 30 97 16 people were killed and 178 wounded in two consecutive suicide bombings in the Mahane Yehuda market in Jerusalem:
    Lev Desyatnik, 60, of Jerusalem; Regina Giber, 76, of Jerusalem; Valentina Kovalenko, 67, of Jerusalem; Shmuel Malka, 44, of Mevaseret Zion; David Nasco, 44, of Mevaseret Zion; Muhi A-din Othman, 33, of Abu Ghosh; Simha Fremd, 92, of Jerusalem; Grisha Paskhovitz, 15, of Jerusalem; Leah Stern, 50, of Jerusalem; Rachel Tejgatrio, 80, of Jerusalem; Liliya Zelezniak, 47, of Jerusalem; Shalom (Golan) Zevulun, 52, of Jerusalem; Mark Rabinowitz, 80, of Jerusalem.
    Eli Adourian, 49, of Kfar Adumim, died of his wounds on August 11. Ilia Gazrach, 73, of Pisgat Ze'ev, died on August 29. Baruch Ostrovsky, 84, of Jerusalem died on October 3.

    Sep 4 97 Five people were killed and 181 wounded in three suicide bombings on the Ben-Yehuda pedestrian mall in Jerusalem.
    The victims: Yael Botwin, 14; Sivan Zarka, 14; Smadar Elhanan, 14; Rami Kozashvili, 20; and Eliahu Markowitz, 40 - all of Jerusalem

    Mar 4, 2001 - Naftali Dean, 85, of Tel Mond; his niece, Shlomit Ziv, 58, of Netanya; and Yevgenya Malchin, 70, of Netanya were killed in a suicide bombing in downtown Netanya; 60 people were injured. The Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.

  4. Here is a link to the BBC investigation into Hizb:


    "We went to Denmark, where Hizb Ut Tahrir has come to the attention of the police and the courts because of its anti-Semitic views. In March and April 2002, Hizb Ut Tahrir handed out leaflets in a square in Copenhagen, and at a mosque. The leaflet, which also appeared on the Danish groups internet site, makes threats against Jews, using a quote from the Koran urging Muslims to 'kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have been turned you out.' 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".

    According to the Danish penal code, you are not allowed to threaten or to humiliate people with other ethnic backgrounds. And we thought that was exactly what the Hizb Ut Tahrir did towards the Jews.

    Last October, Fadi Abdelatif, Hizb Ut Tahrir's spokesman in Denmark, was found guilty of distributing racist propaganda. He had translated the leaflet from Arabic and had access to the groups web site. Abdelatif was given a sixty day suspended sentence.

    From my point of view, it is one of the worst cases we have had, because of the threats. In this case it was different, because there was this 'kill them wherever you find them'. There was this concrete threat. So I asked the court to make the sixty days not suspended, so that he had to go to jail, but the court did not follow me.

    The court rejected Abdelatif's argument that he was merely quoting from the Koran, and the leaflet was an act of free speech. The court also did not accept that the leaflet was, as he argued, aimed solely at the Israeli state and not Jews generally. In particular, the court found that in "linking the quotes from the Koran to the subsequent description of Jews as a people characterised negatively...is an evident statement of a threat against Jews."

    The Danish magistrate described Hizb Ut Tahrir as secretive, but the case did expose something of the way the group is organised. The Danish police established that the web site on which the offending material was published was being hosted in the UK. That wasn't relevant to their case so they didn't pursue it any further.

    However, Newsnight can reveal that it wasn't only being hosted in the UK, it was actually being run from the UK. Computer records show that the Danish web site shared the same internet address as web sites registered to a mailing address here, at 56 Gloucester Road, London, the British Headquarters of Hizb Ut Tahrir, and that's not all. Newsnight can reveal that the leaflet, which has been successfully prosecuted for racism in Denmark, is on the British group's web site today. The document is in English and has been on the web site since March 2002. "

  5. David T, although Sharon didn't become PM till 2001, he has been an influential figure since 1981 holding various high ranking positions, including Defence Minister. He resigned 2 years after taking this post because of his culpability in Palestinian attrocities in 1983. The suicide bombings as you point out started in 1994.

    HuT is a crazy organisation, but it is a legal organisation and not responsible for terrorism. The Koran has anti-semitic sentiment, so its not surprising that a Muslim organisation would also have those tendencies. They do however deny anti-semitism!

    I dislike HuT as much as I dislike the BNP, but I disagree that someone should necessarily lose their job because of being a member. Driving these organisations under ground will not solve the problem.

  6. i completely agree with you Neil, there is no point banning organizations that we don;t share the same views with. as long as it doesn't promote terrorism, which it doesn't, there are no gounds to ban it. if we did it will just alienate British Muslims even more.
    what did you think about the newsnight report about hizb ut-tahir?