London, UK, February 15 – In response to today's Commons vote, Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain believes that the vague offence of 'glorification' is a draconian measure that will be used to curtail the legitimate right to speak out about illegal occupation and call for the removal of western government supported dictators in the Muslim world.
The introduction of a vague offence of "glorification" and the proscription of non-violent organisations has been extensively criticised by the Joint Committee on Human Rights, the Association of Chief Police Officers, the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights, the Home Office's own taskforce on extremism and over 180 leading Muslim organisations and personalities.
Dr Imran Waheed, a media representative of Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain, said, "On Monday, Gordon Brown called for a "battle of hearts and minds" and argued that the "extremist threat" would be defeated by "power of argument, debate and dialogue", yet today the government criminalises support for legitimate resistance struggles against oppression and advocates the proscribing of non-violent Islamic political parties. They have lost the battle of hearts and minds."
"These laws criminalise vast swathes of the Muslim community who speak out against the occupation of Iraq, Palestine and Kashmir. They also open the door to the banning of political organisations that abhor violence but stand up to Western imposed dictators and tyrants. Surely these laws will do more harm than good for community relations."
"Hizb ut-Tahrir has a record of over 50 years of following a method of non-violent political activity against the unelected dictators and despots who rule the Muslim world with the West?s approval. In its work to establish the Islamic Caliphate, Hizb ut-Tahrir has never resorted to any sort of armed struggle and nor has it ever incited people to kill innocent civilians. It has throughout its history worked through intellectual and political means while its members have been tortured and killed in their thousands."
Notes to Editors
The Association of Chief Police Officers have said that they know "of no intelligence to justify a Hizb ut-Tahrir ban"
"We have yet to see convincing evidence that Hizb ut-Tahrir as an organisation advocates violence or terrorism." [UK FCO Minister Bill Rammell, Hansard, 19/4/04]
"Hizb ut-Tahrir [HT] is an independent political party that is active in many countries across the world. HT's activities centre on intellectual reasoning, logic arguments and political lobbying. The party adheres to the Islamic Shariah law in all aspects of its work. It considers violence or armed struggle against the regime, as a method to re-establish the Islamic State, a violation of the Islamic Shariah." [Restricted Home Office Documents 19/8/03, Released to Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain 1/6/05 under FOI Act]
"But there is no apparent case to proscribe HuT because its activities abroad include involvement in terrorism. Indeed it is not entirely clear whether they would be caught under a future criterion of "justifying or condoning violence". Much of their literature explicitly rejects the use of violence." [Robert Tinline, Head of the multilateral and terrorist financing section of the counter-terrorist department, Leaked Email dated 30/8/05, cited in New Statesman 30/1/06]