London, UK, October 12th – Hundreds of Muslim women from across the UK are to attend a seminar that will demonstrate a united front against the proposed anti-terror legislation and any ban on non-violent Islamic groups. Speakers will include women from various organisations and political affiliations such as Islamic Human Rights Commission, Islamic Forum of Europe, FOSIS, Hhugs, Hizb ut-Tahrir and MPAC as well as a wife of a British prisoner of conscience incarcerated in Egypt. The event will illustrate a consensus in thinking amongst Muslim women in the UK that the legislation will victimise Muslim women as well as men who hold particular Islamic thoughts.
Tony Blair in his 16th July speech at the Labour party national conference defined extremism as those who call for the removal of the occupying state of Israel from Palestinian land, the removal of western troops from Muslim countries and the establishment of Sharia law in the Arab world en route to one Caliphate of all Muslim nations. There is therefore a concern amongst the Muslim community that voicing political opinions related to the support of the resistance to occupation in countries such as Palestine, Kashmir and Iraq and to call for Islamic governance in the Muslim world may fall under the folds of criminality under the proposed legislation. Such thoughts are not confined to specific Muslim groups but are beliefs integral to the Islamic faith, held by the Muslim community as a whole. Such proposals will therefore only serve to alienate ordinary Muslims further from the wider society by bringing the whole community under the umbrella of extremism.
Dr. Nazreen Nawaz, the Womens' Media Representative of Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain commented, "The anti-terror proposals will criminalise mainstream Islamic poltical thought. Moreover they will stifle valid political debate and dissent. How do societies progress except by dialogue and the exchange of ideas through which the correct values, thoughts and laws by which humanity should live will reveal themselves? It will perhaps lay the foundation of a new age McCarthian witch-hunt against ordinary Muslims who adhere to and advocate Islamic political thought."
"How ironic, when Mr.Blair justified in part the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq on the basis of guaranteeing rights for Muslim women that there should be censorship of the political opinions of Muslim women on his own doorstep. Muslim women in the UK will resist any attempts to divide our community via labels such as moderates and extemists. We will continue to be vocal against Western foreign policy and issues such as Iraq and Palestine as well as work zealously for the return of the Islamic Caliphate state, regardless of the bully-boy tactics being employed by this government to silence our voice."
Notes to the Editors:
(1) The Seminar will take place from 2pm on Sunday 16th October 2005 at Friend's Meeting House (173 Euston Road, London NW1; nearest tube – Euston)
(2) Dr. Nazreen Nawaz, the women's media representative of Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain will be available for interviews on the day from 1pm.
(3) Hizb ut-Tahrir is an independent political party whose ideology is Islam. The party works throughout the Islamic world to resume the Islamic way of life by re-establishing the Islamic Khilafah [Caliphate]. The party adheres to the Islamic Shari'ah in all aspects of its work. It considers violence or armed struggle against the regime, as a method to re-establish the Islamic State, to be forbidden by the Islamic Shari'ah. In the Western world, the party seeks to explain the Islamic ideology to Muslims, to create a dialogue with Western thinkers about Capitalism and its ills and to present Islam as an ideological alternative