Government officially designates Hizb ut-Tahrir as a ‘terrorist organisation’

Tom Tugendhat. Pic: Conservative party

Hizb ut-Tahrir has now been officially proscribed as a terrorist organisation after both the House of Commons and Lords approved the measure without opposition yesterday.

The order, which came into effect today, makes belonging to Hizb ut-Tahrir or inviting support for the group a criminal offence, with a potential prison sentence of 14 years which can be handed down alongside or in place of a fine.

Hizb ut-Tahrir has now been added to the list of proscribed organisations in the UK, alongside 79 other organisations, including Al Qaeda and ISIS .

The government said: “The UK government assess that Hizb ut-Tahrir, including its national branches, is currently concerned in terrorism, and meets the ‘promotes and encourages’ limb of the statutory test.

“A number of articles were posted online on Hizb ut-Tahrir’s central media website (and third party websites), attributed to several of Hizb ut-Tahrir’s branches, which celebrated and praised the 7 October 2023 attack by Hamas and associated events. The content of these articles, many of which refer to Hamas as ‘heroes’ and encourage further terrorist activity, constitute the promotion and encouragement of terrorism.”

In a sparsely-attended parliamentary debate yesterday (with no Muslim MPs or opposition to the proposal present) Security Minister Tom Tugendhat said: “Hizb ut-Tahrir has antisemitism at its very core. It rejects democracy and engages in vile homophobia. As an organisation, it does not just reject British values; it seeks to undermine them. We will not let groups such as Hizb ut-Tahrir abuse our freedoms. We will never tolerate the promotion or encouragement of terrorism. We have zero tolerance for antisemitism. Hizb ut-Tahrir must be proscribed.”

And Labour Shadow Security Minister Dan Jarvis said: “After years of serious and increasing concerns about Hizb ut-Tahrir’s activity both internationally and in the UK, the Opposition strongly support its proscription. It is a necessary and proportionate step to effectively counter its hateful extremism and divisive rhetoric which threatens the safety and security of our country.”

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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 a statement a few days ago, Hizb ut-Tahrir pledged to challenge the proscription by “all legal means,” denying all the government’s accusations and saying that the action “is a desperate measure to censor debate about the genocide in Palestine and to stop Islam’s just political alternative.”

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