ATbar The Mode of Operation of Hizb ut Tahrir in an Open Society
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The Mode of Operation of Hizb ut Tahrir in an Open Society

20/02/2004 | by Whine, Michael  

Hizb ut Tahrir is different to other Islamist groups active in Europe and the US. It has an appeal, particularly to the intellectual, in a manner that transcends the stark appeal of the global jihad movement and its affiliates, or other Islamist or revivalist movements.

In a BBC TV Newsnight item on Hizb ut Tahrir in August 2003, a former senior member, Yamin Zakaria, stated:

They had a very profound analysis of why the Islamic world is in such an abysmal state, how it declined and most importantly how we can elevate ourselves from this position, and break free. The group was not allied to any political regime, it was not operating on the basis of personal or financial motivation, it didn’t have a sectarian approach. So it had a very open approach. As long as you are a Muslim and are committed to its beliefs, and its causes, you are welcome to join the party. [1]

Hizb ut Tahrir involves itself less in the generalised Islamist campaigns of other groups. Its overriding belief in the resurrection of the caliphate means that all other struggles and campaigns are generally subordinated. For this it is continuously criticised by other groups.

Its members do not engage in the political processes of the countries in which they live, and this has likewise led to public and private criticism of them, at least in the UK, by other Islamist groups who see it as part of their mission to press Islamist demands. In recent years groups such as the Muslim Public Affairs Campaign (MPAC), the Muslim Brotherhood - linked Muslim Association of Britain and the Islamic Party of Britain have voiced such criticism.[2]

The influences of the late Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin el-Husseini, and the post war leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood on the Hizb ut Tahrir founders ensures its worldview is Manichean and premised partly on conspiracy theory. All world events are seen through a prism in which the ‘ unbelievers ‘ are out to destroy Islam. Like them it holds that there is a line of continuity between historical and contemporary events with no allowance for the vagaries of history or circumstance.

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