Debate : An overwhelming no to proscribing Hizb ut-Tahrir
London, UK, September 22 – Over one hundred and twenty participants attended a lively debate held at the Foreign Press Association London, jointly organised by Prospect magazine and New Civilisation magazine. The event was chaired by David Goodhart, Editor of Prospect Magazine, and the panelists included, Dr Imran Waheed, Representative of Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain, A C Grayling, Professor of Philosophy at Birkbeck College, and Ehsan Masood, a journalist and project director of the Gateway Trust.
The audience included people from the Cabinet office, the media, lawyers, academics, and other distinguished personalities. Issues debated included the relationship between Western governments and dictators in the Muslim world, Hizb ut-Tahrir's non-violent political struggle to establish the Caliphate in the Muslim world, and the positive contribution Muslims can make to British society. The point was also made that whilst Hizb ut-Tahrir is vehemently opposed to the Zionist occupation of Palestine, Hizb ut-Tahrir envisages a Caliphate where Jews, Christians and Muslims live in harmony as equal citizens. Far from being a conveyor belt for terrorism, Hizb ut-Tahrir continues to insist that the Muslim community engage in peaceful political activities. After a vigorous debate, the audience overwhelmingly concluded that Hizb ut-Tahrir should not be banned.
Dr Imran Waheed said, "Banning Hizb ut-Tahrir would set a dangerous precedent and make many question the talk of freedom of speech, democracy, tolerance and pluralism. We thank the organizers for this opportunity for much needed dialogue and debate at a time when the government is calling for bans and censorship. These types of events help to bridge the gulf of understanding that exists between Muslims and non-Muslims and address the various misconceptions about Islam."