Britain’s interior minister on Monday announced a ban on Hizb ut-Tahrir, a militant Islamist organization that has long been in the sights of the UK authorities for its violently antisemitic rhetoric and enthusiastic support of terrorist groups including Hamas.
“Hizb ut-Tahrir is an antisemitic organization that actively promotes and encourages terrorism, including praising and celebrating the appalling Oct. 7 attacks [by Hamas terrorists in Israel],” British Home Secretary James Cleverly told parliament on Monday.
“Proscribing this terrorist group will ensure that anyone who belongs to and invites support for them will face consequences. It will curb Hizb ut-Tahrir’s ability to operate as it currently does,” Cleverly said.
The banning order will come into force on Friday unless MPs decide to vote it down. Under its terms, certain offenses are punishable with up to 14 years in prison, while the group’s property and assets face seizure now that it is classified as a “terrorist” organization.
The impetus for the ban was a pro-Hamas rally which Hizb ut-Tahrir staged in London on Oct. 21, as thousands of protestors descended on the British capital to demonstrate their opposition to Israel. Antisemitic slogans and calls for jihad were on display, leading Cleverly’s predecessor as Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, to order a review of Hizb ut-Tahrir’s activities.
Previous British governments — including the administrations of former Prime Ministers Tony Blair and David Cameron — had investigated the possibility of banning Hizb ut-Tahrir but were told by government lawyers that the group had not violated any anti-terrorism legislation.
Hizb ut-Tahrir first emerged in Jordanian-occupied Jerusalem in 1952, formed by a Palestinian Muslim cleric, Muhammad Taqi al-Din al-Nabhani. Its ideology is based on an uncompromising struggle between Muslims and non-believers that places the duty of jihad — holy war — at its center and demands the submission of all non-believers to Islam.
The group’s focus on what it calls the “near enemy” — the current rulers of Arab and Islamic countries who are deemed to be corrupt — has led to it being banned in most Arab countries as well as Indonesia, the state with the world’s biggest Muslim population.
Active in more than 50 countries, Hizb ut-Tahrir launched a chapter in the UK in the early 1980s. Its current leader is Wahid Asif Shaida, who also goes by the name Abdul Wahid, a family doctor with a practice in north London.
After Shaida warmly praised Hamas during a television interview in December, the health authority where his practice is based expressed concern over his “distressing comments,” adding that it was recommending an investigation of him by the National Health Service (NHS).
In that interview, Shaida described Hamas as a “resistance organization,” praising the Oct. 7 Hamas pogrom — in which more than 1,200 Israelis and foreigners were murdered and more than 200 kidnapped amid atrocities that included rape and mutilation — as “a very welcome punch on the nose of the enemy.”
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‘The mobs will not silence my voice’ says Conservative MP Melissa Lantsman after her Thornhill office is plastered with anti-Israel posters
Posters slamming Israel and decrying Canada’s suspension of funding to UNRWA were found at the Thornhill, Ont., offices of Melissa Lantsman, a pro-Israel and Jewish Conservative MP who serves as deputy leader of the Official Opposition. “Blood on Your Hands,” “Stop Arming Israel” and “Fund UNRWA Now” were among the messages found taped to […]
IDF Chief Weighs in on Ultra-Orthodox Military Service, Week After New Draft Bill Proposed
IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi called on the ultra-Orthodox public to mobilize for the current and future wars, a position at odds with their historic role in the state, in which they enjoy near blanket exemptions from military service.
“In these challenging days, there is one thing that is very clear: Everyone should mobilize for the defense of the homeland,” Halevi said.
He added: “This is a different era, and what was before it will certainly be re-examined. The IDF has always sought to bring into its ranks from all sections of Israeli society. This war illustrates the need to change. Join the service, protect the homeland. We have a historic opportunity to expand the sources of recruitment for the IDF at a time when the necessity is very high. We will know how to create the right solutions and conditions for any population that will join this noble mission.”
The issue of ultra-Orthodox enlistment in the IDF has been a hot button issue since the state’s establishment in 1948 and, in more recent years, the cause of wide scale backlash against the community. As part of an agreement when the state was founded, the ultra-Orthodox public was exempted completely from service. However, as the years progressed and the population grew exponentially, critics of the policy decried the unfairness of it.
A bill last week was introduced by the ruling Likud Party that called for an increase in military service time, particularly for reserve forces, yet failed to discuss the ultra-Orthodox issue. Backlash from both opposition and coalition members was swift.
Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich at the time said, “The ultra-Orthodox public is dear and loved and contributes a lot to the State of Israel, and it is now essential that it also take a more significant part in the tasks of defense and security. This move should happen out of dialogue and discussion and not by coercion or, God forbid, by defamation. Religious Zionism proves that it is possible to combine Torah study and observance of minor and severe mitzvot together with military service at the front. My ultra-Orthodox brothers, we need you!”
Halevi’s comments were his first on the highly contentious issue.
The post IDF Chief Weighs in on Ultra-Orthodox Military Service, Week After New Draft Bill Proposed first appeared on Algemeiner.com.
Israeli victims of the Oct. 7 attacks present their case to the International Criminal Court, hoping for arrest warrants against Hamas
A legal brief documenting the kidnapping, rape, torture and executions of Israelis who are being held hostage by Hamas terrorists in Gaza has been filed at the International Criminal Court by the Canadian-based Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights. The 1,000-page dossier documents the brutality of the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks on Israel, which killed […]