London UK, 16th August 2009 – In an unusually frank exchange on BBC Radio 4, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said that there were circumstances in which terrorism was justifiable and effective.
While talking about the life of Joe Slovo, a member of the armed wing of the ANC in apartheid South Africa which undertook violent actions and bombings in its fight against the apartheid regime in order to change the society. The presenter asked “Are there circumstances in which violent reaction, terrorism, is the right response?” In response, Mr Miliband said “Yes, there are circumstances in which it is justifiable, and yes, there are circumstances in which it is effective”.
Commenting on Miliband’s statement, Taji Mustafa, media representative of Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain said, “These comments show a spectacular double standard. Especially coming from the British Foreign Secretary, who condemns Muslims in Palestine who suffer under the apartheid Israeli occupation. If a Muslim had made similar comments about resisting occupation they may have found themselves arrested under anti-terror laws made by Mr Miliband’s government against the ‘glorification’ of terrorism.”
“However, the frankness of his comments also betray the hypocrisy of the wider discussion around ‘terrorism’, illustrated in the response by Shadow Foreign Secretary William Hague, who criticized Mr Miliband for giving “succour to the Taleban”, yet remains silent about the violence on a much larger scale perpetrated by western governments in the Muslim world.”
“The comments show that politically motivated violence – whether to change society or to resist occupation, such as in Palestine, Iraq or Afghanistan, is condemned by western politicians when it conflicts with their interests, but overlooked when it is in line with their interests.”
“While Miliband and others play with the issue of terrorism as and when it suits them, Hizb ut-Tahrir has maintained its position that Islam obliges Muslims to resist occupation, whilst forbidding the killing of innocent civilians and violence as a means to bring political change in society. It is time to stop listening to these politicians, who abuse taxpayers money and hide their real political agendas in the Muslim lands, and instead to have an honest and sincere debate about the real issues facing the Muslim world and the West.”