London, UK, August 3 – The comments by Shadow Defence Secretary, Gerald Howarth, are the latest in a series of remarks by Western politicians, aimed at silencing criticism of Western foreign policy by Muslims by equating legitimate political dissent with extremism and terrorism. His remarks that Muslims who see the Iraq war as a conflict against Islam should be considered as treacherous as Soviet sympathisers during the Cold War are highly offensive to the Muslim community.
Dr Imran Waheed, Media Representative of Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain, said, "British politicians seem to be confused about how to deal with Muslim criticism of Western foreign policy. On the one hand we have Howarth calling on Muslims to leave the UK and branding them treacherous, while on the other, we have Shadow Attorney General Dominic Grieve suggesting that the London attacks were 'explicable' given the deep sense of anger by Muslims in the UK with western foreign policy. UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has also admitted that British occupation of Iraq was 'part of the problem'."
"The remarks by Howarth suggest that there are some who are not prepared to tolerate legitimate political dissent to western foreign policy. Rather than engage in discussion and debate, he asks those with an opinion contrary to his to leave the country. This is intolerant and narrow minded. In the Muslim world today, from Tashkent to Tripoli, the vast majority of work against western foreign policy is non-violent political struggle aimed at ending Western interference in the political affairs of the Muslim world. Equating such political struggle to terrorism is a sign of increasing ideological desperation."
Notes to Editors:
Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain is the UK branch of Hizb ut-Tahrir, a global independent Islamic political party. The global leader of Hizb ut-Tahrir, Ata Abu Rushta, is in the Muslim world. The party works throughout the Islamic world to resume the Islamic way of life by re-establishing the Islamic Khilafah [Caliphate].