London, UK, February 13 – The speech today of the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, to the Royal United Services Institute, is yet another cynical attempt by a government politician to exploit the deaths of innocent civilians on 7/7 to divide Muslims into 'moderates' and 'extremists' and justify the introduction of draconian legislation 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 government has failed to make the case for the vague offence of "glorification" or the proscription of non-violent organisations and this is evidenced by the criticism of these proposed measures by the Joint Committee on Human Rights, the Association of Chief Police Officers, the Home Office's own taskforce on extremism and over 180 leading Muslim organisations and personalities. Despite all of this, it seems that a wider political agenda is at play, and now the government is trying to muster support for 'glorification' by citing a UN resolution [which was spearheaded by the British Government]. This is ironic given that the government completely bypassed the UN in order to invade Iraq and share the spoils of Iraq's occupation with the USA. It is even more ironic given that in late November 2005, the government was warned by Louise Arbour, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, that these proposals posed grave challenges to human rights and risked breaking international treaties. In her letter, Ms Arbour wrote that parts of the Terrorism Bill "could pose grave challenges to effective human rights protection and set worrying precedents in the global struggle against terrorism."
While the government made much of the Acpo advice to extend the detention of terrorist suspects to 90 days, it has buried Acpo's opinion that they know "of no intelligence to justify a Hizb ut-Tahrir ban"
Recently released leaked emails show that despite Hizb ut-Tahrir being a non-violent Islamic political party that has condemned terrorism, Tony Blair has been placing pressure on the intelligence services and the Home Office to create a false legal justification to ban the party. In one of the emails, doubts about banning Hizb ut-Tahrir are clearly stated: "There is no apparent case to proscribe Hizb ut-Tahrir 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?.
Dr Imran Waheed, a media representative of Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain, said, "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 endorses the criminalising of support for legitimate resistance struggles against oppression and the proscribing of non-violent Islamic political parties."
"Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain urges the Muslim community to remain united, and not be divided along government lines of so called 'moderate' and 'extremist', and not to be silenced but to continue to speak the truth against injustice and oppression through peaceful political means as taught to us by Islam."