Banning Hizb-ut Tahrir in Australia

Is Hizb-ut Tahrir (meaning “Party of Liberation”) the menace that Tony Abbott claims it is, and should we proscribe it in Australia?

To make an informed decision it is necessary to look at the background to Hizb-ut Tahrir (HuT) and decide whether it has demonstrated by its actions that it deserves to be outlawedlike a terrorist group.

HuT has actually been around for nearly 60 years. It was founded by a Palestinian scholar and judge Taqiuddin al-Nabhani in 1953 in Jerusalem as a Sunni Muslim organisation. Now it is said to be active in 45 countries with an international membership of about one million. HuT considers itself to be a political movement with its ideology based on Islam, rather than a religious organisation.

HuT promotes the concept of a global caliphate of Muslims governed by sharia law with an elected caliph. It says that all Muslims have a duty to work toward this outcome. HuT believes that the West has no right to interfere in or influence Muslim areas of the world. HuT is strongly anti-Zionist and denies Israel the right to exist. It rejects democracy as a Western system (which seems at odds with its concept of an elected caliph).

Within the caliphate the only sources of legislation would be divine and statutory, based upon the Koran, the Sunnah, and the consensus of the companions (Ijma al-Sahaba), and legitimate analogies from them…

(Photo: Hizb ut-Tahrir Australia media representative Uthman Badar holds a press conference at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas in Sydney in June. Credit: Edwina Pickles)