MPs to vote on Palestine protest organisers Hizb ut-Tahrir being declared terrorists after call for 'jihad'

15 January 2024, 14:36 | Updated: 15 January 2024, 18:35

Hizb ut-Tahrir chief Abdul Wahid pictured last year. The group could be banned in the UK
Hizb ut-Tahrir chief Abdul Wahid pictured last year. The group could be banned in the UK. Picture: Alamy/Getty

By Kit Heren

James Cleverly has declared that Hizb ut-Tahrir, one of the organisers of the pro-Palestine protests, are a terrorist group.

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The Home Secretary has laid a draft order before Parliament to designate the Islamic political party as terrorists.

If the MPs' vote passes on Friday it will be a criminal offence to belong to, invite support for and publicly display material in a public place in a way that arouses suspicion of membership or support for the group. Some offences could be punishable by 14 years in prison.

Hizb ut-Tahrir vowed to fight the proposed ban through "all available legal means".

has been among the organisers of the huge pro-Palestine protests that have taken place in central London on many Saturdays since the war between Israel and Hamas began. It is not one of the major coalition of groups that have organised protests backing Palestine.

Several protesters have been arrested on suspicion of anti-Semitic offences and over support for Hamas, who are a proscribed terror group in the UK.

Read more: Government to probe why Met Police concluded 'jihad' chant and 'Muslim armies' signs at Palestine demo were lawful

Read more: Nick Ferrari condemns the Met's 'lacklustre' response to Jihad chants at pro-Palestinian rally

Protesters hold large banners at the front of the protest saying 'Muslim Armies Rescue the People of Palestine' as a speaker addresses the crowd at a Hizb ut-Tahrir protest in November
Protesters hold large banners at the front of the protest saying 'Muslim Armies Rescue the People of Palestine' as a speaker addresses the crowd at a Hizb ut-Tahrir protest in November. Picture: Alamy

The government said that Hizb ut-Tahrir supports Hamas and praised the October 7 attacks on Israel. Hizb ut-Tahrir has said that it supports the Palestinian people, but not Hamas.

The group were heard calling for "jihad" in a London protest in November. Police said they did not arrest anyone over the cry because "jihad" does not necessarily mean violence.

Banners bearing the group's name were also seen on the protest with a slogan calling for "Muslim armies" to "liberate the people of Palestine".

Hizb ut-Tahrir advocates for a global Islamic caliphate, although it does not support ISIS. The group was founded in 1953 and has tens of thousands of members around the world.

Supporters chant with speakers holding placards calling for Muslim Armies to liberate Palestine, one raises his fist in defiance
Supporters chant with speakers holding placards calling for Muslim Armies to liberate Palestine, one raises his fist in defiance. Picture: Getty

Hizb ut-Tahrir has been banned in many countries, including Germany, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh and several Arab states.

The British government has pushed for the group to be designated terrorists previously. Experts said that although the group were homophobic and anti-Semitic, they did not advocate violence.

The group's leader Abdul Wahid works as an NHS GP under a different name.

Nick Ferrari condemns the Mets response to Jihad chants

Home Secretary James Cleverly said: "Hizb ut-Tahrir is an antisemitic organisation that actively promotes and encourages terrorism, including praising and celebrating the appalling 7 October attacks.

"Proscribing this terrorist group will ensure that anyone who belongs to and invites supports for them will face consequences.

"It will curb Hizb ut-Tahrir’s ability to operate as it currently does."

Home Secretary James Cleverly has called for Hizb ut-Tahrir to be banned
Home Secretary James Cleverly has called for Hizb ut-Tahrir to be banned. Picture: Alamy

Hizb ut-Tahrir said in a statement: "Today’s announcement by the British Home Secretary to seek to proscribe Hizb ut-Tahrir is a desperate measure to censor debate about the genocide in Palestine and to stop Islam’s just political alternative. Hizb ut-Tahrir completely refutes any idea that it is anti-semitic or encourages terrorism. We have repeatedly called for the re-establishment of the Islamic system in the Middle East that allowed Jews, Muslims and Christians to live side by side for centuries.

"It is Islam’s sublime values that removes oppression from society and doesn’t discriminate on colour, race, religion or gender. Indeed the only terrorism that is currently being undertaken is by the Zionist entity in Gaza, supported by British politicians who are complicit in war crimes, ethnic cleansing and genocide.

"By seeking to proscribe Hizb ut-Tahrir, Britain will join the likes of Putin’s Russia, Sisi’s Egypt and a host of other authoritarian states in silencing a voice for the restoration of an Islamic civilizational alternative for the Muslim world.

"It also demonstrates that all the talk about diversity, anti-censorship and freedom of speech, are only acceptable as long as one agrees with the extremist Zionist agenda of 10 Downing Street. Hizb ut-Tahrir has a record of over 70 years of following a method of non-violent political activity against despots who rule the Muslim world with the West’s approval.

"In its work to establish the Islamic Khilafah (Caliphate), Hizb ut-Tahrir has never resorted to any sort of violence or armed struggle. It has throughout its history worked through intellectual and political means while its members have been tortured and killed in the thousands.

"Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain explicitly states that it will challenge the proposed proscription using all available legal means.

"Regardless of the outcome for Hizb ut-Tahrir, the political struggle in highlighting the genocide in Gaza, exposing the West’s colonial agenda and the obligation to work to restore Islam as a just way of life will always continue."

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