In Hizb ut-Tahrir’s (Party of Liberation) opinion, the Syrian regime is certainly going to fall and the opposition is an agent of the West, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. They assert that an Islamic state should be established in Syria while foreign military intervention only serves the enemies of Islam.
“The Islamic Caliphate state can not be conceived of without [Greater] Syria. It has what no other spot on earth has in terms of honor, esteem, and status after Mecca and Medina.” This is the Syria of the Hizb ut-Tahrir.
“Its revolution is distinctly Islamic. It is the cornerstone and the center of gravity in every equation,” said Hisham al-Baba, a member of the Central Media Committee in Hizb ut-Tahrir, in his Damascene accent in Tripoli.
Baba came to give a speech at the conference organized by the party Tuesday entitled “The Ummah’s Revolution: the Project to Abort it and the Inevitability of the Islamic Project.”
“The Ummah [the Islamic nation] has been utterly mistreated and the Syrian people are no exception,” says Baba.
Syria (Greater Syria), according to Hizb ut-Tahrir, includes modern-day Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Cyprus, and the Sinai.
Baba criticizes the Arab and Western media for ignoring the presence of Hizb ut-Tahrir and hiding its role. Baba tells Al-Akhbar how Hizb ut-Tahrir has been pursued in Syria since the mid-20th century and subjected to attempts to disband it. The Baath Party and the Syrian state tried to strike down even the idea of the party existing.
Hizb ut-Tahrir does not recognize regimes that govern Muslims outside the rule of Shariah. Baba does not accept the regimes that claim to be Islamic but combine Islam with Western ideas.
“Islam can not be fulfilled except in strict compliance. It can not be mixed with other ideas because it stops being Islam. There is no solution except the Islamic Caliphate state, which will bring about justice,” says Baba.
Their story with the Syrian regime is an old one. In the 1980s when the conflict between the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) and the state was at its height, the role of Hizb ut-Tahrir was not insignificant. They too participated in the movement and were pursued by the state and arrested.
Baba, a calm man in his 40s, explains how “the people were deceived when the Syrian uprising broke out in Houran.” One year after the uprising, he believes that “people are convinced that the struggle is ideological and that they are waging a war on the revolution because it raises the banner of Islam.”
According to Baba, Hizb ut-Tahrir has “a strong presence in the revolution and that is evident in the Islamic banners, slogans, and chants. And our youth are present with their ideas, their activities, and their patience in all the Syrian provinces.”
Baba criticizes the Arab and Western media for ignoring the presence of Hizb ut-Tahrir and hiding its role. Just as “the revolution’s coordinating committees in the beginning of the events tried to exclude members of the party.” We were patient and persisted, “but we did not give up.”
The party is convinced that the people’s choice is Islam. “Time has proven that secularists, communists, and other adherents of secular thought have no popularity in Syrian public opinion. The beat of the street is Islamist,” he says.
The people are sick of the whole opposition, they have no one but God.Baba criticizes all the parties within the Syrian opposition. “The people are sick of the whole opposition, they have no one but God.”
The latest announcement by the MB stated that they would accept a civil state. This came as a huge disappointment to the leadership of Hizb ut-Tahrir and its supporters. “This position aims to appease and reassure the West that there will not be an Islamic state. It is as if they are providing credentials to the infidels.”
It is not a secret that flirtation between the MB and the West, specifically Britain, is old. “We thought the brotherhood changed.”
What is perhaps stranger from Hizb ut-Tahrir’s point of view is the position of Ali Sadreddine Bayanouni, the former leader of the MB in Syria, who reassured “the monstrous entity, the Jews’ entity, that the change of regime will not constitute a danger to them.”
Baba is not worried however because “the youth of the MB side with Hizb ut-Tahrir’s point of view and they will not follow their leaders for long because they began to give concessions early on, even before the battle began.”
The relationship with the Syrian National Council (SNC) is one of “exposing and disclosing lies.” In Hizb ut-Tahrir’s opinion, the SNC is subordinate to Western powers and gets instructions from “[Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan’s Turkey. How do we build a relationship with them and they do not represent anything in the street and are under the authority of infidels?” There are those in the SNC who say secretly that “they might have to engage in a dialogue with the regime [at some point] in the future. They want to engage in a dialogue with killers!”
Qatar and Saudi Arabia do not escape the party’s antagonism. Baba says that “both regimes, the Saudi and the Qatari, are not different from the Syrian regime, they compete with it in terms of killing. The two countries are tools of the Western colonialist project and respond to US, English, and French orders.”
What comes after the Syrian regime then? The leadership of Hizb ut-Tahrir seems certain that the regime will fall and an Islamic Caliphate state will emerge. Baba believes that the regime has lost its power. “Its extreme violence and the use of military power are nothing but an announcement of the end.” The party was not surprised by the degree of violence, “but by the high spirits of the people and the mujahedeen.”
Hizb ut-Tahrir “is not a religious party but a political party and the caliphate system is a political system,” Baba adds. “This system has restrictions that can not be violated whereas the democratic system has no restrictions.” Here, there is “hala and haram,” what is religiously permitted and what is religiously banned and that’s it.
Baba believes that the solution to the sectarian and confessional conflicts in Syria is the caliphate system, where there is no difference between Muslims – Sunni and Shias.
“It is good for Muslims and non-Muslims,” he says. Non-Muslims “like Christians, Alawites, and Druze are the people of dhimma (non-Muslim subjects of a Muslim state) except for the Alawites who converted to Islam. And who says the people of dhimma are going to be treated differently from Muslims?”
Baba says that “both regimes, the Saudi and the Qatari, are not different from the Syrian regime, they compete with it in terms of killing. The party distinguishes between Shias and their political leadership. Baba views Hezbollah from the Syrian prism. The question of resistance does not change his mind. “Hezbollah supports the oppressor against the oppressed.”
Baba stresses that the party is opposed to foreign military intervention because it serves the enemies of Islam and “puts in place a regime worse than the current one.”
The party is also opposed to drowning Syria in weapons “except for self-defense and defending the people,” Baba said declaring his party’s support for “the Free Syrian Army.”
When asked about the international observers Baba says they are the regime’s lifeline and “we should not rely on the idea.”
There, on a large screen at the conference was the imam of al-Omary Mosque in Daraa, Sheikh Ahmad al-Sayasneh, giving his message to the conference attendees and attacking Shias, Hezbollah, and Iran.
Baba remains silent for a second before he says, “This is his opinion and position.”