Hizb Ut-Tahrir: Ideology and Strategy

By Houriya Ahmed


At the 2009 Conservative Party conference, Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling said that the revolutionary Islamist party Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT), or the Party of Liberation, would be proscribed should the Conservatives win the next election. In the immediate aftermath of the 7/7 2005 London bombings, the then Prime Minister Tony Blair also proposed proscription. However, this decision is still under review.
Operating in over 40 countries worldwide, HT aims to establish an aggressively expansionist Islamist state. While it claims to be non-violent, HT sanctions military coups in Muslimmajority countries. The party’s state would then engage in offensive warfare – committing the mass murder of civilians if necessary – in order to colonise all Muslim and non-Muslimmajority countries.

Like all violent and non-violent Islamist groups, HT interprets Islam as a holistic socio-political system. Its ideology has helped inspire jihadist terrorism and bears crucial similarities to the doctrines of al-Qaeda and its affiliates. In common with Islamist terrorists, HT believes Muslims have a “religious” duty to liberate perceived ‘occupied Islamic lands’. To achieve this, HT prescribes violence, which includes suicide bombings as well as hijacking and bombing planes.

In the West, HT’s current strategy is one of grassroots activism and engagement with wider society. The party aims to create a monolithic political Muslim bloc in the West to aid its Islamist revolution and subvert Western societies for future annexation by HT’s state. In order to mainstream HT ideology amongst Western Muslim communities and avoid rejection by wider society, the party has downplayed its more intolerant beliefs and presents itself as defending “true” Islam in the face of a perceived Western ‘War on Islam’.

However, HT remains legal in the UK and operates openly in many countries in the West. This report highlights HT’s inherently violent ideology and presents a case study of party activities in the UK as an example of its strategy in the West. This report also includes a detailed analysis of policy measures – and potential repercussions – that could be taken by any future British government towards HT.



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