This is the organisation that the sacked Guardian trainee journalist, Dilpazier Aslam, has openly admitted he belongs to;
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more Westernised moderate Muslims i.e. the majority in this country, will shuffle embarrassingly and mutter that it is outdated or only applies in extreme circumstances (whatever that means) but they believe it non the less.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.