Neighbour and democracy

Sally Neighbour has written a disturbing article in the Australian entitled “Muslims told to shun Democracy”.

She reports on a conference held in Western Sydney over the weekend featuring leaders of the global Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir.

Neighbour writes “LEADERS of the global Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir have called on Australian Muslims to join the struggle for a transnational Islamic state.  British Hizb ut-Tahrir leader Burhan Hanif told participants at a conference in western Sydney yesterday that democracy is “haram” (forbidden) for Muslims, whose political engagement should be be based purely on Islamic law. “We must adhere to Islam and Islam alone,” Mr Hanif told about 500 participants attending the convention in Lidcombe.

“We should not be conned or succumb to the disingenuous and flawed narrative that the only way to engage politically is through the secular democratic process. It is prohibited and haram.”

He said democracy was incompatible with Islam because the Koran insisted Allah was the sole lawmaker, and Muslim political involvement could not be based on “secular and erroneous concepts such as democracy and freedom”.

The article continues with “The conference, which followed the theme “The struggle for Islam in the West”, was the first major event held by the Australian branch of HT since a seminar in 2007 which coincided with calls for the group to be banned. HT is outlawed in much of the Middle East but operates legally in more than 40 countries, campaigning for the establishment of a caliphate (Islamic state) modelled on the empire founded by the Prophet Mohammed in the 7th century.  HT’s platform rejects the use of violence in its quest for an Islamic state, but supports the military destruction of Israel, which it regards as illegitimate, and endorses militant campaigns against foreign troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.  The federal government considered banning HT in 2007, but then attorney-general Philip Ruddock told parliament ASIO had advised him such a ban was not justified as the group did not support terrorism.”

The disturbing story has been picked up by other groups here, here and here (which included an interview by Chris Smith with someone who attended the meeting.)  The attendee states “The problem we have is our apathy”

While the Australian reported on the meeting, the SMH and Daily Telegraph did not.  Hmm!

(and although Israel was not the focus, what does the organisation have to say about Israel? Here is a UK branch statement  “we completely reject Zionism represented in the form of Israel and Muslims worldwide are opposed to the continued occupation of Palestine by the Israeli State.”

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3 thoughts on “Neighbour and democracy

  1. Hizb ut-Tahrir (or Party of Liberation) is a huge problem in Europe, especially the UK. (ask author of ‘The Islamist’, Ed Husain). When they say they want a Caliphate, they mean they want Sharia law all over the world, including Australia. This means death to gays, death to anybody who leaves Islam, ‘honour killings’ for their own sisters who don’t behave ‘honourably’. In the UK there are ‘no-go’ areas for non-Muslims, where you can be attacked for selling Bibles. Is that a problem? They preach hatred of the infidel and hatred of democracy. It’s hard to believe they don’t advocate violence, but is intimidation and threat of violence OK? People have heard of Al Qaida and Muslim Brotherhood (which originate in Egypt and Saudi Arabia); well Hizb is very big in Pakistan. It was founded by a Pakistani journalist called Maududi, who is supposed to have influenced Sayed Qutb, the main ideologist for Muslim Brotherhood. So they all connect up nicely. It’s not a surprise they say Israel is an illegitimate state: of course it is — it is run by infidels, and it was once a country run by Moslems. That’s why it must be “liberated”. Australia was never a Moslem country, but they want to enlighten us by making us Moslem too. Surprise: If democracy is illegitimate, then Australia is an illegitimate state too.

  2. I liked Adele’s comment but want to take her up on one point. I’ve also read ‘The Islamist’. Maududi was the founder of Jamat-e-Islamiya (the first group Ed Husain belonged to).

    According to ‘The Islamist’, the founder of the Hizb was Taqi Nabhani, a Muslim scholar in Palestine. Influenced by Maududi, In 1952 he established a political party with Islam as its ideology, with the intention of taking over the governments of Middle East countries. Ed Husain says Osama Bin Laden was partly influenced by Nabhani’s ideas. Nabhani had once been a member of the Muslim Brotherhood but in the 1940s found them not active enough. The main ideologist of MB Sayed Qutb ( whose brother taught Osama bin Laden) had written his key book ‘Milestones’ under the influence of Hizb members he had met in prison in Egypt. Hizb believed that working for the establishment of a Muslim super-state (caliphate of the umma – Muslim nation) without boundaries of countries was a religious duty. His books ‘The Way for Revival’, The System and Concepts were the key texts.
    In the 1980s Britain gave asylum to Hizb members, and gave it freedom to recruit and express its ideas. It was legal in Britain, but banned in Arab countries. Then the massacres of Muslims in Bosnia were ‘a catalyst for extremism among large numbers of young Muslims in Britain. [we were] given a clear, radical outlook on life by Hizb-ut-Tahrir.

    The Hizb had a 3-part strategy. First, the ‘secret stage of building a a political party with a core group of activists, then the ‘open stage’ in which the dominant paradigm of political and social constructs would be attacked in an attempt to substitute an alternative worldview.’ (This is what happened at the Sydney conference: an attack on democracy)
    The third stage .. was a military coup. ‘Based on the life of Mohammed.. [his] total ideology for global domination. This ideology would be carried ot other parts of the world by means of a jihad… our foreign policy was to conquer and convert. If countries refused to convert, then they would pay the Islamic state a tax, jizyah.’ Husain’s Hizb leader told him: “It is our duty…to destroy the West and its puppets in the Muslim lands.” For the Hizb, the modern MB wasn’t radical enough, as it had dealings with Western countries and wasn’t intellectual enough.

    Omar Bakri, one Hizb leader, called for the assassination of British PM John Major during the first Gulf War. Hizb members were to be “the flaming heat under the kettle”. ‘When we were accused .. of being Hizb members, our emphatic denials easily convinced our inquisitors. Such training to deny the truth in ipublic was a key component”. “We were taught ‘Never defend, always offend’. “We believed that the Muslim ummah was in a state of war with the West.. so lying and deception were simply strategies of war.’ Husain later writes ‘It was not party policy to engage in violence before the caliphate came about. We believed that fighting as individuals was futile — our aims were greater. An army would fight entire nations.’ On the other hand, a Christian student was murdered on campus by a Hizb member. Husain writes: “It was we who had encouraged Muslim fervour, a sense of separation from others, a belief that Muslims were worthier than other humans.”
    [When the police were investigating] ‘the Hizb leadership [condemned] what had happened, saying that it was a non-violent party. This myth as swallowed by investigators who never really understood the seriousness of the Hizb’s form of violence. Even today, a primary reason for Western failure in the War on Terror is this same cause: an innate inability to understand the Islamist psyche.” [The person who has murdered the Christian student] had become a jihadi or vigilante. Despite their condemnation of vigiliantism, most Islamists are jihadis… Individual jihadis are driven by ideas that prompt them to immediate personal action. Hizb ut-Tahrir encourages individuals to form an army dedicated to a prolonged military campaign. In essence, the differences from vigilantism are simply of time and scale.”