The notorious Islamist organisation Hizb-Ut Tahrir (‘HUT’) openly avows an ideology whose ultimate goal is to transform the entire world into an Islamic state. Despite being linked to a number of terrorist attacks — most notably the ‘7/7 bombings’ in London — the group is generally careful to avoid being portrayed as pro-violence.
For example, the profile of local Australian spokesperson Uthman Badar on ABC’s The Drum (for which he is an occasional contributor) describes the group as:
a global Islamic political party working in over 40 countries, via exclusively intellectual and political means, to re-establish the Caliphate in the Muslim World.
It probably will not come as much of a shock that the someone from the group occasionally slips-up and is caught in public supporting means that are not exactly ‘intellectual and political’. As this blog noted last year, Badar himself was reported to have supported attacks against Israel and Western troops in the Middle East.
Furthermore, after Osama bin-Laden was killed, Badar was quoted lamenting the loss of ‘one of the great mujahids [holy warriors] of the modern age’ and saying that his involvement in 9/11 was ‘unsubstantiated’, and, in any event, ‘A man cannot be judged on one incident. We all make mistakes.’
Badar has now been joined by his colleague Ismael Wahwah, another spokesperson for HUT Australia who had his passport confiscated by Jordanian authorities last year.
The Middle East Media Research Institute has come across an address by Wahwah posted online, in which he calls for armed jihad not only in Muslim countries, but throughout the globe:
That is the duty of the caliphate [Islamic super-state] – to implement Islam internally and carry the light of Islam to the rest of the world. How? Not with flowers. It was the army of Muslims, which started from Al-Madina, and they went to China, India, and Al-Maghreb. That is jihad.
It is not defensive jihad with you staying in Baghdad, Damascus, and the Levant, and just waiting until someone comes and occupies you, and you are allowed to use some limited [means] to defend yourself. But if you do something else – you are a radical.
If the Islamic nation is attacked – that is what is happening now – this means that Islam is not being implemented in our life. Because if Islam were implemented, you would not be waiting for someone to come and occupy Baghdad, or Kabul, or Jerusalem. You would be in the heart of somewhere else to carry your religion. Is that extremist? I don’t care. [emphasis added]
He then goes on to describe the utopia that his organisation is striving for: no banks, no civil rights, no fornication, no alcohol, Islamic dress codes imposed on everyone, and a return to the gold standard. It’s not quite the vision paradise that most of us would share.
Fortunately, HUT is a small fringe group and is generally denounced by mainstream Muslims in Australia. That said, as revealed by the recent visit of a delegation of Australian Muslim leaders to Gaza — featuring praise for Hamas from Australian Grand Mufti Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohamed — there is a worrying undercurrent that is not entirely unsympathetic.