‘Tory lies’ about Hizb ut-Tahrir are ‘populist attempts to boost poll ratings’
Mr Hammond said Hizb ut-Tahrir is an organisation ‘committed to the murder of Jews’.
Hizb ut-Tahrir have responded that this has ‘no basis in fact’, and proceeds to deride David Cameron and his ‘young Turks’ (a rather ironic term in the present context) for their ‘relationships with Russian oligarchs’, and accuses them of jumping on the BNP bandwagon with their ‘anti-Muslim policies’ and ‘populist attacks on Muslims’.
One wonders how much time the representatives of Hizb ut-Tahrir have spent studying Islam, for their stated objective is a global Islamic caliphate, and, while there are important differences between the Shi’a and Sunni schools of theology on the origin and role of the Caliph (Imam al-Ummah), there is consensus that all citizens will live under Shari’a. The Caliphate – rule by Islamic clerics – ended in 1924 following the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, but it had not exercised any real power since the thirteenth century. While Hizb ut-Tahrir professes to pursue a restoration through peaceful political action and intellectual engagement, others groups, like al-Qaeda, do so through force.
The problem that Hizb ut-Tahrir have is that there is that the concept of a Caliphate has a muddled and murky history, which is itself a cause of division between various schools of Islamic thought. None of the attempts to establish the ‘Rule of Allah’ on earth has succeeded, and all have caused bloodshed and led to the oppression of non-Muslims. The absolute power enjoyed by the Caliph leads to nepotism and dictatorship, which is invariably sustained by a corrupt army. Minorities are oppressed, and religions other than Islam are strictly limited or entirely prohibited, depending on their perceived level of subversion of the Islamic state.
While Mr Hammond could have phrased his criticism of Hizb ut-Tahrir a little more intelligently, his essential observation has historical validity. Jews have been slaughtered in the pursuit of a caliphate, and continue to be. And so have Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Christians. And where they are not slaughtered, they are dispossessed and driven out in the pursuit of the Dar al-Islam.
But Cranmer wishes to voice a concern:
The tendency of some sections of the media, some politicians and some political groups to portray Islam as a great military power or as constituting a considerable terror threat is absurdly exaggerated. In fact, Cranmer would go as far as to add this ‘fear’ to the others which have been hysterically induced in the masses, like ‘Bird Flu’, ‘Global Warming’, ‘Mad Cow Disease’ or the ‘Credit Crunch’. There is no easier mechanism by which governments may control their people and raise taxes than by inducing a perpetual state of fear.
The cultural challenge is manifest, simply because the mass migration of Muslims into Western Europe has created ‘ghettos’ of Muslims who are demanding increasing political and religious rights. There is a reluctance to integrate, and the ‘multiculturalism’ offered by liberal democracy is unfulfilling.
But this mass migration has also imported a strong and confident religio-political system at a time when Christianity has been diminishing in influence, morality has become relative, and politics has become insipid. The only way to address this is to end the notion of ‘multiculturalism’, place strict limits on immigration, and revive interest in the moral foundations of Christianity. While the first of these is being addressed - and by no less an individual than Trevor Phillips, head of the Commission for Racial Equality - the immigration question still proves a thorny issue – for fear of being accused of being racist – and the Christian dimension is not on the agenda of any political party, for pretty much the same reason.
And so instead of applying thought and political effort to creative ways of reinvigorating the state with sociological concepts and morality which have tried and tested Christian foundations, the politicians are busy eradicating all notions of the Christian tradition, and inhibiting all expression of it from the public sphere.
It is not so much the idea of permanent conflict against the Islamists and heightened security which should be blamed for the erosion of our traditions and liberties: the abandoning of our Christian heritage is doing far more damage to society and the institutions of government. If we are at war with the likes of Hizb ut-Tahrir and al-Qaeda, then we are fighting to defend our liberties. Yet what are our politicians content to make the casualties of this war? Our liberties.
Hizb ut-Tahrir ought to be proscribed on those grounds alone. It is antithetical to liberal democracy, and seeks to use its liberty to wrest liberty from all non-Muslims. Since Hizb ut-Tahrir cannot rationalise that, there is no place for the organisation or its adherents in the United Kingdom, and David Cameron has made that abundantly clear.