Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Maajid Nawaz on Newsnight tonight

Maajid Nawaz, one of the most senior members of the radical Islamist party Hizb-ut-Tahrir, talks exclusively to Newsnight on BBC Two tonight.

On the programme to be broadcast at 10.30pm Nawaz reveals how Hizb-ut-Tahrir advocate the killing of millions of people to unite and expand an Islamic super-state and why he resigned from the party.

For 12 years Maajid Nawaz was inside Hizb-ut-Tahrir, not only propagating their views in Britain, but exporting them to Pakistan and Denmark. He was imprisoned in Egypt for four years for being a member of the party. Up until May this year he was on their leadership committee.

The establishment of the Khilafah – an Islamic state across the Muslim world under Sharia law – is the central aim of Hizb-ut-Tahrir. Last month they held a series of international conferences, the largest in Indonesia, to "accelerate" its establishment.

Hizb-ut-Tahrir publicly state that this would be achieved "without resorting to violence" and "following an exclusively political method".

But Maajid Nawaz has told Newsnight that, once that state is established, the party does advocate violence, and violent expansion beyond the Muslim world.

He says: "They are prepared to, once they've established the state, to fight other countries and to kill people in the pursuit of unifying this state into one state. And what I'd like to emphasize is that such a policy is not agreed upon within Islamic theology.

"... Hizb-ut-Tahrir privately and publicly condemn terrorism but the point I'm making is that's not the danger I'm concerned about.

"The danger I'm concerned about is creating a mentality, a psyche that can allow a state and it deems it acceptable for a state en masse to kill people in the cause of an ideology."

Hizb-ut-Tahrir is a global Islamist movement founded in 1953, committed to the establishment of a unitary Islamic state across the Muslim world, under Sharia law. It is banned in many Middle Eastern countries, including Egypt, Syria and Turkey.

After the July 7th bombings the then Prime Minister Tony Blair moved to ban the organisation in Britain but there was insufficient evidence to do so.

The debate over proscribing the party has centred on how extreme the movement is and its stance on violence. It insists that it works through exclusively political means.

Nawaz says that his time spent in prison meant he started questioning if there was a better way "than just meeting oppression and anger with more anger and more oppression".

He developed serious doubts, leading to a decision to leave.

"I regret my whole association with Hizb ut-Tahrir and the way in which I propagated those ideas.

"... I think that what I taught has not only damaged British society and British Muslim relations and damaged the position of Muslims in this society as British citizens, I think it's damaged the world."

Despite his criticisms of the party, Maajid Nawaz is not joining calls for Hizb-ut-Tahrir to be banned in Britain.

He says: " I expressly and explicitly say to the members I want them to leave Hizb ut-Tahrir because I believe Hizb ut-Tahrir is an obstacle to the Muslim community moving forward, not only in this country but in the world in general. And that's why I'm here, because I regret me being a part of that obstacle.

"My ideal scenario would be not to ban the party but it would be that through the power of discussion and persuasion and the strength of challenging thought with thought, that eventually the party would fizzle out in this country and hopefully generally throughout the world."

Thursday, 6 September 2007

Rashad Zaman Ali - Khilafah is an "expansionist, totalitarian state"

Let us not mistake the Muslims fealty and sentiments of spiritual brotherhood, and sharing teh pains of their brethren across the globe, mistaken for a non-existent ideologocal bond which politically supercedes tehir patriotic political ideas and political system.

They don't see a contradiction between being Egyptian/Syrian/Turkish/Secular-Turkish/Saudi/Kurdish/Socialist-Kurdish/Salafi-Saudi/ and Muslim.

Only some of the the extreme Islamists would have an identity problem with I dunno, say being Muslim or British and end up fly posting all the Muslim houses in his city after taking their addresses down from the council register ;-).

Most people wouldn't have that hang up. Most people don't think that there is a contradiction as they don't politicise their identity with an expansionist totalitarian state as a part of their identity in the name of the Ummah.

Posted by: Rashad Zaman Ali from Sheffield | 31 August 2007 at 02:51 AM

Saturday, 1 September 2007

Islamism must be fought and defeated

Islamism and Wahhabism undermine the very fabric of Islam; combined, these ideologies are a subversive influence on Muslim communities across the globe and a security threat to the West. I believe this issue transcends the right-left division of conventional politics and requires us to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with all right-thinking citizens, irrespective of party politics.

It is simply wrong to work to overthrow the Muslim rulers of Muslim countries which are from a scholarly perspective Dar al-Islam. While one does not endorse the brutal dictatorships that dominate the Arab political landscape, just as the Ahl al-Sunnah persevered through the tyranny of Hajjaj bin Yusuf, we should counsel Muslim rulers, exercise sabr, be abundant in dua, and work for political change with and not against the hukkam.

In this pursuit, we should seek guidance from that centuries-old repository of cumulative knowledge: the traditional Muslim ulama.