A response to specific allegations made by Newsnight
The following is a detailed response to the specific allegations made by Newsnight
Please note: Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain was not given any of these allegations in advance and so was not aware of the specific claims until the broadcast of Newsnight.
Allegation: Hizb ut-Tahrir radicalises young Muslims to become potential terrorists
Fact: The BBC does not bring any evidence whatsoever to suggest
that Hizb ut-Tahrir is encouraging Muslims to participate in violence
or terrorism. Even the fictitious allegations in the programme are
related to criminality and not terrorism. The programme brings no
evidence whatsoever to prove that Hizb ut-Tahrir encourages terrorism.
Hizb ut-Tahrir's condemnation of terrorism is a matter of record. The
radicalisation of Muslims, particularly young Muslims, is the product
of their anger at the government’s unjust and brutal war in Iraq. To
suggest that Muslim organisations such as ours, rather than the
government’s policies, have created anger within the Muslim community
is disingenuous and irresponsible. It is organisations like ours that
channel that anger into non-violent political activism in an attempt to
repair the damage caused by government policies.
Allegation: Hizb ut-Tahrir makes recruits commit crimes to test their loyalty
Fact: The BBC does not bring any evidence that would stand up in even a kangaroo court to prove this allegation. The BBC does not name or show the person making the vague allegations. While, the BBC may argue that the 'mole' is worried about his safety, why has the BBC not named the others who supposedly aided and abetted this individual in committing such a crime? Why does the BBC not mention the location of the crime? Where are the witnesses to this crime? Why has the matter not been reported to the police so that they can apprehend the alleged criminals?
In South London, members of Hizb ut-Tahrir have been instrumental in stopping violence between gangs and this has been recognised by the local community who have given written statements attesting to this. We have placed these statements on our website.
In a letter to the Attorney General in March 2006, we asked whether there was any evidence whatsoever to suggest that Hizb ut-Tahrir had violated existing legislation or proposed legislation. No such evidence has been provided to date.
If Hizb ut-Tahrir was linked to criminality why would ACPO argue that it knew of "no intelligence to justify a Hizb ut-Tahrir ban"? In July 2006, Bob Beckley, the lead spokesman on community policing ad counter-terrorism issues for the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) told the Financial Times: "I see no reason why HT should be banned on the basis of available evidence. I haven’t seen anything suggesting they have apologised for or glorified terrorism. I might not like their views but that doesn’t mean that they are criminal and that is an important distinction we have to make."
A Newsnight programme in March 2004 investigated how Hizb ut-Tahrir was trying to tackle the problem of crime and drugs in the Muslim community and wider society. Not surprisingly, the BBC make no mention of this now.
Allegation: Hizb ut-Tahrir teaches young Muslims that non-Muslims are worthless
Fact: Hizb ut-Tahrir's views on the manner in which Muslims should interact with wider society are on record. Our events are regularly addressed by and attended by non-Muslims. Following a Home Office consultation entitled "Strength in Diversity", Hizb ut-Tahrir presented a document outlining how Muslims should seek to foster cohesion in wider society.
These are some key extracts from that document:
"We believe that Muslims adhering to the sublime values of Islam can lead to harmony between Muslims and non-Muslims and the improving of community relations, especially in northern towns characterised by polarised communities."
"Muslims must maintain the security of property of their fellow citizens. Therefore, it is forbidden to steal, defraud, embezzle or deceive others. To the extent, for example, it is prohibited to travel on public transport without paying for the ticket."
"Muslims must not violate the blood of their fellow citizens. It is forbidden to cause them any harm. This includes the prohibition of causing fear and terror."
Allegation: Patrick Mercer, Shadow Homeland Security Minister, says Hizb ut-Tahrir is 'subversive' and should be banned.
Fact: This is unfortunately yet another example of a politician playing politics with security and another flip-flop from the Conservative Party. The Conservatives opposed the introduction of the term 'glorification' to the Terrorism Act 2006, including the widening of the grounds for proscription. Indeed, at Prime Minister's Questions on February 15th 2006, William Hague, standing in for David Cameron, described the government's measures as "a press release law to catch the headlines". In an article in the Sunday Telegraph on February 12th 2006, David Cameron, described the proposals as "confused legislation that misses the target".
Over the summer recess, David Cameron, exchanged views in writing with Jamal Harwood, Chairman of Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain, over the situation in Lebanon. The letter from Mr Cameron said that he was "most grateful for your comments on relationships between Western governments and the Muslim world". A copy of the letter has been placed on our website. In the Sunday Times on November 12th 2006, David Cameron said that Hizb ut-Tahrir should be banned, without providing any justification.
The only argument that Mr Mercer offers, is that Tony Blair said that he wanted to ban Hizb ut-Tahrir in August 2005.
However, what he does not mention is that since then the government has failed to present any case, evidence, grounds, reasons or justification. This confirms our view that there is no case, evidence, grounds, reasons or justification to proscribe our organisation.
Allegation: Tony McNulty, Home Office Minister, said Hizb ut-Tahrir was "currently under review and if we think we need to take action it will be proscribed".
Fact: We wrote to Mr McNulty in August 2006 after his comments in Parliament in July 2006 when he said that "There are any number of other organisations, among which I would include Hizb ut-Tahrir, that we keep under constant review and are seriously concerned about." We have placed the letter on our website and have not received any substantive reply to the issues raised in our correspondence.