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                        The purpose of this page is to introduce you to the hard-line international Islamic movement, The Party of Liberation. Visiting their website may help you understand their mindset so as to be warned.
                         I provide an introduction to Hiz ut-Tahrir,
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Hizb ut-Tahrir      The Party of Liberation

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Hizb ut-Tahrir (Arabic: meaning “Party of Liberation) is an Islamist political party whose goal is to reestablish the caliphate (Khalifah). The organization was founded by Sheikh Taqiuddin al-Nabhani, a judge (qadi) from Jerusalem in 1953.

Hizb ut-Tahrir is dedicated to what it sees as the political unity of Muslims, the removal of what it considers to be neo-colonialist Western control of Muslim lands, and a return to a state based on Islamic law (Sharia). In accordance with that, the party has called for Muslims to overthrow their governments, establish the caliphate, and declare jihad against Israel. The party has called suicide bombings in Israel "legitimate" acts of "martyrdom." [1]

Although the party is banned in many Arab countries, it is permitted to operate in the more liberal UAE, Lebanon and Yemen. It is also banned throughout the former Soviet Union states of Central Asia and its activities are banned in Germany (though the party itself is not). It operates legally in most Western nations and survived a ban in Australia after clearance from the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation. On August 5, 2005, Tony Blair announced the British government's intention to ban the group in the United Kingdom. [2] [3]

Contents

    * 1 Aims
    * 2 Methods
    * 3 Policies of future state
    * 4 Attitudes towards the non-Islamic world
    * 5 Controversy over Anti-Semitism
    * 6 Prominent members
    * 7 See also
    * 8 References
    * 9 Further reading


Aims

The aim of Hizb ut-Tahrir is to unite all Muslims in a single pan-Islamic state or caliphate, which will be ruled by a caliph. This state will have laws, norms, and social mores based on the paradigms of Islam. It will not be a democracy, which the party says is incompatible with the goal of establishing an Islamic state, though the state would "include provisions for voting in an Islamic context." [4]
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Methods

Hizb ut-Tahrir has set out a three-stage plan of action to achieve its goals:

   1. Establish a community of Hizb ut-Tahrir members who work together in the same way as the companions (Sahaba) of the prophet Muhammad. Members should accept the goals and methods of the organization as their own and be ready to work to fulfill these goals.
   2. Build public opinion among the Muslim masses for the Caliphate and the other Islamic concepts that will lead to a revival of Islamic thought.
   3. Once public opinion is achieved in a target Muslim country through debate and persuasion, the group hopes to obtain support from army generals, leaders, and other influential figures or bodies to facilitate the change of the government. The government would be replaced by one that implements Islam "generally and comprehensively", carrying Islamic thought to people throughout the world.

Hizb ut-Tahrir states on its website: "The party disseminates its thoughts through discussion with the masses, study circles, lectures, seminars, leaflet distribution, publishing books and magazines and via the Internet. We encourage people to attend our demonstrations, marches and vigils." [5]

Dr Dosym Satpayev, director of the Assessment Risks Group in Almaty, Kazakhstan, claims that "Hizb ut-Tahrir plans its development in three stages...First they convert new members. Secondly, they establish a network of secret cells, and finally, they try to infiltrate the government to work to legalise their party and its aims."[6]

In July 2005, Hizb ut-Tahrir members campaigned actively for one - ultimately unsuccessful - candidate in Kyrgyzstan's presidential election.[7]
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Policies of future state

Hizb ut-Tahrir's position is that that the state should abide by Sharia (Islamic law) in all aspects of its work.

Hizb ut-Tahrir, unlike some other traditionalist movements in the Muslim world, promises to give Muslim women the right to choose a partner freely, as well as the right to vote, to seek employment, and to assume custody of children after a divorce. Under the Khilafah, women would also have the right to stand for election to the people's assembly. Although women may seek employment, they are barred from key positions of ruling such as that of caliph, Chief Judge, judges of the Court of Unjust Acts, provincial governors, and provincial mayors. Contrasted against Western ideals of women's rights and freedoms, the Islamic standards envisioned by Hizb Ut-Tahrir's Khilafah would seem greatly diminished. Article 109 of the party's draft constitution provides for the segregation of the sexes in public institutions such as schools, and during sporting events. They seek to impose the Islamic rules of public dress, which require Muslim women to dress in accordance with khimar and jilbab (see Hijab) but not necessarily with the face veil (Niqab) favoured by fundamentalist sects such as the Salafi and movements such as the Taliban.

The draft constitution also details an economic system which allows private enterprise, but reserves public ownership of energy resources, health care, and unused farm land. It also specifies a return to the Gold Standard, rather than pegging to the Euro or dollar.

The draft constitution argues that "there is no such thing as a clergy in Islam", that "every Muslim has the right to perform ijtihad" (personal exertion to derive Islamic rules), and that "every thing or object is permitted, unless there is an evidence of prohibition" in the Qur'an. It is 'incumbent' on Muslims to implement hudud law [8] Hizb-ut-Tahrir's constitution says that "every individual is innocent until proven guilty. No person shall be punished without a court sentence" and that "torture is absolutely forbidden and whoever inflicts torture on anyone shall be punished". Its draft constitution also provides the penalty of execution as punishment for apostasy (see Apostasy in Islam).

The draft constitution maintains that under the Caliphate, "Arabic is the language of Islam and the sole language of the state". The only sources of legislation to be considered divine, and therefore to be accepted without debate, according to Article 12, are those based upon fair interpretations of the Qur'an, the Sunnah, the consensus of the Sahaba (known companions to the Prohet Muhammad ), and legitimate analogies (Qiyas).

Article 186 of the draft constitution states: "The State is forbidden to belong to any organisation that is based on something other than Islam or which applies non-Islamic rules". They also view the UN, the World Bank, and the IMF and the Arab League as contradicting Islamic law and being oppressive to the developing world [9].

Article 185 of the draft constitution states: "All military treaties and pacts, of whatever source, are absolutely forbidden. This includes political treaties and agreements covering the leasing of military bases and airfields."

Article 56 of the draft constitution states that Jihad is a compulsory duty for all Muslims. Muslim males past the age of 15 are obliged to undergo military training in preparation for it. At least as far as Article 56 is concerned, "jihad" refers purely to religious warfare, and subsequent articles in the draft constitution detail rules regarding territory gained by the Khilafah during Jihad. While many practicing Muslims traditionally hold that definitions of jihad (translated to English, jihad roughly means 'struggle') include both the physical form (taking up arms against an oppressive force, for instance) and the more personal jihad against one's own ego; Hizb ut-Tahrir considers the later to be a 'linguistic' application of the word, while jihad in the military sense is the 'shariah meaning' of the term, and therefore the form of jihad referred to and to be referred to in legal documentation. [10]


Attitudes towards the non-Islamic world

Hizb ut-Tahrir has not been elected to government in any of the countries where the party is active, and therefore it is impossible to establish with certainty what its position in terms of international relations, in practice, would be. Publications on the Hizb ut-Tahrir media websites however show a strong anti-Western sentiment that has been characteristic of most Islamist movements. Among their publications is one that compares the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, to the people of the Quraysh [11], the tribe of the prophet Muhammad that turned against him when he founded Islam and then sought to destroy him. An article on the British Hizb ut-Tahrir website 'exposes' the agenda of the British government against "Islam and Muslims". [12] Titles of books published by Hizb Ut-Tahrir include "The American Campaign to Suppress Islam" [13].

The party's antipathy is not only reserved for the United States and Britain. Following a massive bombing attack on cities in Bangladesh (August 17th, 2005), Hizb ut-Tahrir responded by accusing India of initiating a campaign to destabilize Bangladesh. Investigation later revealed the terrorist attack was executed by another Islamist movement, Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh. Hizb ut-Tahrir routinely accuses India, along with "Western colonial powers" of 'conspiracy' against the Bangladeshi people [14], using rhetoric not dissimilar to that used against the United States or Britain in the Middle East and Europe.


Controversy over Anti-Semitism

In January 2003, Hizb ut-Tahrir's activities were banned in Germany on charges of anti-Jewish propaganda, a ruling currently being challenged in the German courts. [15] Fadi Abdelatif, Hizb Ut Tahrir's spokesman in Denmark, was found guilty of distributing racist propaganda in 2002. The title of the pamphlet in question was "And Kill Them Wherever You Find Them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out" (from the Qur'an, Baqarah:191 [16]). [17] The pamphlet, now removed from the group's website, continued:

    The Jews are a people of slander. They are a treacherous people who violate oaths and covenants. They lie and change words from their right places. They take the rights of people unjustly, and kill the Prophets and the innocent. They are the most severe in their hatred for those who believe. Allah has forbidden us from allying ourselves with them. "It is only as regards those who fought against you on account of religion, and have driven you out of your homes, and helped to drive you out, that Allah forbids you to befriend them, then such are the Zalimoon (wrongdoers)" [TMQ 60: 9] This is how they used to be. This is how they are now, and this is how they will continue to be. This region, especially for the people of Palestine, has suffered their evil for about fifty years.

The leaflet's title stems from a verse of the Quran in Surah Al-Baqarah, which precedes and follows the following quranic verses:

[2.190] And fight in the way of Allah with those who fight with you, and do not exceed the limits, surely Allah does not love those who exceed the limits.

[2.191] And kill them wherever you find them, and drive them out from whence they drove you out, and persecution is severer than slaughter, and do not fight with them at the Sacred Mosque until they fight with you in it, but if they do fight you, then slay them; such is the recompense of the unbelievers.

[2.192] But if they desist, then surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

[2.193] And fight with them until there is no persecution, and religion should be only for Allah, but if they desist, then there should be no hostility except against the oppressors.

[2.194] The Sacred month for the sacred month and all sacred things are (under the law of) retaliation; whoever then acts aggressively against you, inflict injury on him according to the injury he has inflicted on you and be careful (of your duty) to Allah and know that Allah is with those who guard (against evil).

[2.195] And spend in the way of Allah and cast not yourselves to perdition with your own hands, and do good (to others); surely Allah loves the doers of good.[18]

Another article entitled "The Muslim Ummah will never submit to the Jews", now also removed from the website, states:

    In origin, no one likes the Jews except the Jews. Even they themselves rarely like each other. He said: "You would think they were united, but their hearts are divided" [TMQ 59:14] The American people do not like the Jews nor do the Europeans, because the Jews by their very nature do not like anyone else. Rather they look at other people as wild animals which have to be tamed to serve them. So, how can we imagine it being possible for any Arab or Muslim to like the Jews whose character is such? ... Know that the Jews and their usurping state in Palestine will, by the Help and Mercy of Allah, be destroyed "until the stones and trees will say: O Muslim, O Slave of Allah. Here is a Jew behind me so come and kill him." [19]

In response, Hizb'ut Tahrir stated:

    We reject decisively the charge of anti-Semitism because Islam is a message directed to all humankind. However, at the same time we decisively reject Zionism represented in the form of Israel, and Hizb ut-Tahrir, like the majority of other Muslim organisations, is opposed to the continued occupation of Palestine by the Israeli State. The state of Israel is founded upon a land that it took by force, after it drove out its people, both Muslim and Christian. This is injustice, which we will never accept from an Islamic perspective, regardless of the race of the perpetrators. In Palestine, Islam is in conflict with Israelis — not in their capacity as Jews who historically had lived alongside Muslims in peace and security for centuries — but in their capacity as occupiers and aggressors. [20]

On August 15, 2005, British executive committee member Dr Abdul-Wahid explained why Hizb ut-Tahrir has now started to remove the material from the party's websites:

    [S]ome who do challenge our political views often resort to partial understandings of individual texts that are detached from context — either of the Muslim world or of global history in general. For example, the war rhetoric prevalent in Europe fifty years ago was full of derogatory epithets and proud declarations, but these are no longer seen as appropriate.

    Winston Churchill's "fight them on the beaches" is relevant to Normandy in 1944, not Barbados in 2005; the language of "freedom" used in campaigns for independence today differs between Scotland and Aceh. It would be ridiculous to assume that rhetoric relevant to a population that sees itself under occupation is symptomatic of the viewpoint of Muslims generally, and Hizb-ut-Tahrir specifically, on all issues relating (say) to Jews and Americans. Yet that is all too often what we see in these so-called challenges to our political ideas. In fact, the decision to remove some of our overseas literature from our British website was a considered response to the legitimate proposition that people who read it out of its context might see it as offensive. [21]

In July 2005, Dilpazier Aslam, a 27-year-old British Muslim and trainee journalist with The Guardian lost his position with the newspaper when it discovered he was a member of Hizb ut-Tahrir and refused to renounce his membership despite claiming to reject anti-Semitism. Citing the anti-Semitic statement discovered on the party's website, Guardian executives decided that membership of Hizb ut-Tahrir was not compatible with membership of the newspaper's trainee scheme. [22]
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Prominent members

    * Shaykh Taqiuddin al-Nabhani (founder)
    * Shaykh Ahmed Dauor (Jordanian parliamentarian 1955-1957 now deceased)
    * Shaykh Abdul Qadeem Zalloum (second leader, now deceased)
    * Shaykh Ata Abu-Rashta (current leader)
    * Dr Imran Waheed (British media representative, Doctor) [23]
    * Dr Nazreen Nawaz (British spokesperson) GMP & cancer research [24]
    * Dr Abdul Wahid (GP & UK executive committee member) [25]
    * Shaykh Abul-Hassan (Imam of Masjid as-Sahaba, Khartoum, Sudan spokesman, deceased)
    * Mohammad Nafi Abdul-Karim Salih (Prominent Jordanian member, now deceased)
    * Bakr Salem Khawaldeh (Prominent Jordanian member)
    * Wassim Dourehi (Australia spokesperson)
    * Naveed Butt (Pakistan spokesperson)
    * Imran Yousufzai (Pakistan spokesperson)
    * Ayman Qadri (Lebanon spokesperson)
    * Muhammad Ismail Yusanto (Indonesia Spokesperson)
    * Mohiuddin Ahmed (Bangladesh Chief Coordinator and Spokesperson)
    * Maajid Nawaz (British Media Representative, former prisoner of conscience in Egypt) [26]
    * Farhad Usmanov [Uzbekistan, executed]


See also

    * Taqiuddin al-Nabhani
    * Islamic democracy
    * Sayyid Qutb
    * Islamism
    * Hizb ut-Tahrir in the United Kingdom
    * Dilpazier Aslam
    * List of political parties in the Palestinian National Authority
    * Islam in Indonesia
    * Islam in Uzbekistan
    * May 2005 unrest in Uzbekistan
    * UK Islamist demonstration outside Danish Embassy


References

    * "Hizb ut Tahrir", BBC Newsnight, August 27, 2003
    * "Tony Blair and Hizb-ut-Tahrir:
                                        'Muslims under the bed' Abdul Wahid, openDemocracy.net, August 9, 2005
    * "The prime minister's statement on anti-terror measures" The Guardian, August 5, 2005
    * Hizb ut-Tahrir's draft constitution
    * "Background: the Guardian and Dilpazier Aslam", no byline, The Guardian, July 22, 2005
    * "Cartoons ignite cultural combat in Denmark", International Herald Tribune, December 31, 2005
    * "Fighting the War of Ideas", Foreign Affairs, November/December 2005
    * "BBC Hard Talk interview with Maajid Nawaz",
                                       BBC News 24 Hard Talk with Sarah Montague, April 2006
    * "al-Jazeera interview with Ian Nisbet and Maajid Nawaz - Arabic",
                                       al-Jazeera interview in Arabic, March 2006


Further reading

    * FAQ about Hizb ut-Tahrir by Khilafah.com
    * Hizb ut-Tahrir official website in Urdu, German, English, Russian, Turkish and Arabic languages
    * Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain
    * Hizb ut-Tahrir official Media website
    * Inside ‘Islam’s political insurgency’ in Europe
    * Hizb ut-Tahrir Bangladesh
    * Q&A with Hizb ut-Tahrir spokesman by MSNBC
    * BBC Hardtalk's Tim Sebastian interview with Hizb ut-Tahrir spokesman
    * BBC Hardtalk's Sarah Montague interview with Maajid Nawaz,
                                  who was imprisoned in Egypt for belonging to the political party
    * Arabic website
    * Interview with leader of Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain by the Jamestown Foundation - PDF Format
    * Recent interview with IRSN
    * Interview with Australian Broadcasting Corporation
    * Recent article in Guardian with interview of female members
    * Simon Jones comment, journalist currently based in Tashkent, Uzbekistan
    * 'The West needs to understand it is inevitable: Islam is coming back'
    * Q&A: Hizb ut-Tahrir by BBC

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Categories: Islamic political parties | Transnational political parties | Islamist groups | Islam and controversy | Islam in the United Kingdom