28 Jan. 2007

Hizb ut-Tahrir

John Watkins, the particularly-odious Labor NSW Police Minister, has today called for Hizb ut-Tahrir to be banned. [Update: State premier Morris Iemma has now joined in.] [Update 2: the ALP's federal immigration spokesman has weighed in by suggesting a senior HuT figure's visa be cancelled. Bizarrely, the Liberals are being outflanked by the ALP on the right on this issue, with Darth Ruddock proclaiming that there is no evidence to support a ban on HuT since they do not urge violence. This is something we should bear in mind when it comes to the next election, that the ALP heavyweights consider advocacy of sharia law per se criminal behaviour, which amounts, I would say, to intolerance of mainstream Muslim views.] Hizb ut-Tahrir is a party dedicated to the restoration and spread to span the world of a new Islamic Caliphate. Since Hizb ut-Tahrir pledges to confine itself to establishing this Caliphate through peaceful means, through democratic measures, through winning people over to its side, this strikes me as in fact being an entirely-acceptable, mainstream Islamic aim. Any Muslim wants all people to embrace Islam and to establish an Islamic society. Islam has traditionally been held to be a rational faith, such that people will ultimately embrace it through rational persuasion.

To ban a party advocating the realisation of fundamental Muslim aspirations by peaceful means, by crimialising Muslim aspirations, one makes Muslim militancy inevitable. It amounts indeed to the criminalisation of radical Islam and the issuing of a challenge to radical Muslims to surrender or fight. It is tantamount to a declaration of war. This is why the British government came to their senses and shelved their plan to legislate to ban HuT.