Government says it will ban Hizb ut-Tahrir as a terrorist organisation

The Home Secretary, James Cleverly, has laid a draft order before Parliament to proscribe Hizb ut-Tahrir under the Terrorism Act 2000.  

If agreed by Parliament, the order will come into force on January 19. This means that belonging to, inviting support for and displaying articles in a public place in a way that arouses suspicion of membership or support for the group will be a criminal offence.

Hizb ut-Tahrir has pledged to challenge the proscription and has called the government move a “desperate measure to censor debate about the genocide in Palestine and to stop Islam’s just political alternative.”

In a statement the government added that “certain proscription offences can be punishable by up to 14 years in prison, which can be handed down by a court alongside or in place of a fine.

“The resources of a proscribed organisation are terrorist property and may be seized. Once a group is proscribed its ability to operate openly in the UK will be significantly degraded because of the offences attached to membership and inviting support.”

The planned proscription of Hizb ut-Tahrir includes the global organisation, as well as all regional branches, including Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain.

Home Secretary, James Cleverly said: “Hizb ut-Tahrir is an antisemitic organisation that actively promotes and encourages terrorism, including praising and celebrating the appalling 7 October attacks. Proscribing this terrorist group will ensure that anyone who belongs to and invites supports for them will face consequences. It will curb Hizb ut-Tahrir’s ability to operate as it currently does.

Sign up for regular updates straight to your inbox

Subscribe to our newsletter and stay updated on the latest news and updates from around the Muslim world!

“Hizb ut-Tahrir’s praise of the 7 October attacks and associated incidents, as well as describing Hamas as ‘heroes’ on their central website constitutes promoting and encouraging terrorism. Hizb ut-Tahrir has a history of praising and celebrating attacks against Israel and attacks against Jews more widely. The UK stands strongly against antisemitism and will not tolerate the promotion of terrorism in any form. This group’s antisemitic ideology and praise of attacks against innocent civilians in Israel outlines the necessity of its proscription.”

Security Minister, Tom Tugendhat added: “Hizb ut-Tahrir clearly encourage and promote terrorism. Their celebration of Hamas’ appalling attacks on Israel, going so far as to call the terrorists who raped and murdered Israeli citizens ‘heroes’, is disgraceful. We stand firmly against antisemitism and hatred against the Jewish community in the UK.”

Hizb ut-Tahrir to challenge proscription 

Meanwhile, Hizb ut-Tahrir has pledged to challenge the proscription by “all legal means.”

In a statement it said: “Today’s announcement by the British Home Secretary to seek to proscribe Hizb ut-Tahrir is a desperate measure to censor debate about the genocide in Palestine and to stop Islam’s just political alternative.

“Hizb ut-Tahrir completely refutes any idea that it is anti-semitic or encourages terrorism. We have repeatedly called for the re-establishment of the Islamic system in the Middle East that allowed Jews, Muslims and Christians to live side by side for centuries. It is Islam’s sublime values that removes oppression from society and doesn’t discriminate on colour, race, religion or gender. Indeed the only terrorism that is currently being undertaken is by the Zionist entity in Gaza, supported by British politicians who are complicit in war crimes, ethnic cleansing and genocide.

“By seeking to proscribe Hizb ut-Tahrir, Britain will join the likes of Putin’s Russia, Sisi’s Egypt and a host of other authoritarian states in silencing a voice for the restoration of an Islamic civilizational alternative for the Muslim world. It also demonstrates that all the talk about diversity, anti-censorship and freedom of speech, are only acceptable as long as one agrees with the extremist Zionist agenda of 10 Downing Street.

“Hizb ut-Tahrir has a record of over 70 years of following a method of non-violent political activity against despots who rule the Muslim world with the West’s approval. In its work to establish the Islamic Khilafah (Caliphate), Hizb ut-Tahrir has never resorted to any sort of violence or armed struggle. It has throughout its history worked through intellectual and political means while its members have been tortured and killed in the thousands.

James Cleverly. Pic: UK Parliament

“Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain explicitly states that it will challenge the proposed proscription using all available legal means. Regardless of the outcome for Hizb ut-Tahrir, the political struggle in highlighting the genocide in Gaza, exposing the West’s colonial agenda and the obligation to work to restore Islam as a just way of life will always continue.”

According to their website, Hizb ut-Tahrir (meaning The Party of Liberation) is a “global Islamic political party which aims is to establish Islam and carry the message of Islam to humankind, via the re-establishment of the Khilafah.”

The party was established in 1953 in al-Quds, under the leadership of its founder Sheikh Taqiuddin an-Nabhani. It has since worked to create public opinion in Muslim countries in favour of the Islamic political system, the Khilafah.

In the West, Hizb ut-Tahrir says it encourages the Muslim community to be “advocates for Islam” and to “work with us and support us in our global work.”

Several countries have banned Hizb ut-Tahrir for their activities, including Germany, Egypt, Bangladesh, Pakistan and several Central Asian and Arab countries. Austria banned symbols of the group in May 2021.

Reacting to the news, an Islamic Human Rights Commission spokesman said: “This is a continuation of this government’s oppression of groups that expose heinous foreign policy. HT is an organisation that has absolutely no history of violence, a peaceful movement that campaigns for political reform in the Muslim world. This is another highly politicised decision that is designed to suppress opposition to the Israeli genocide of Palestinians.”

And lawyer Fahad Ansari said on Twitter: “Hizb ut-Tahrir is not a terrorist group. It has a history of promoting non-violent struggle and has not been connected with any terrorist plots or activities. It is for these reasons that previous plans by both Blair and Cameron to ban the organisation had been shelved.

“In moving to proscribe the organisation, the UK is demonstrating three things: 1. The lowering of the threshold for proscription in order to silence free speech. 2. Its subservience to Israeli policy. 3. It’s desire to join the great bastions of freedom that have also banned the group – Bangladesh, China, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Uzbekistan, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Germany.”

Add your comments below

Previous articleMaldives gives Indian troops March 15 deadline to leave country
Next articleWest Bank: Funeral of Palestinian teenager killed by Israel