This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/803
July 14, 2005
|The conveyor belt of extremism|
Monday 18th July 2005
|Terror in the UK - Hizb ut-Tahrir sells itself as a community group. Its members become part of a viral network spreading word of a holy struggle. Shiv Malik talks to one of its recruiters|
While the growth and operation of terrorist cells in the UK remain largely unknown, the growth of extreme Islamist organisations in Britain has been obvious. After the bombings in London on 7 July, the New Statesman made contact with a former member of the radical Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir.
Walid - not his real name: he did not want to be identified - recently quit the party. During the past five years, he has worked as a recruiter across the north of England, including work in the Leeds area. Like many recruits to Hizb ut-Tahrir (Hizb for short), he is highly educated. Recruited while still at university, he soon began running workshops and distributing leaflets. Walid says that on a number of occasions he leafleted the Leeds Grand Mosque, the same mosque where it is likely that one of the London bombers would have prayed. "The manner in which recruitment is done is pretty aggressive," he says. Hizb has also begun using new methods in its push to recruit the young. "There is a kind of reinvigoration of the idea that it's the youth who really need to be targeted."
Hizb is banned in countries throughout the world including Germany and Holland, but in Britain, where the group's world communications hub is located, it operates with impunity. Officially Hizb denounces violence, and there is no evidence to suggest this stance would ever change. Walid says that if you approached the group saying you wanted to carry out a suicide bombing "they would dissuade you". However, there is reason to believe that Hizb acts as a conveyor belt for terrorism: in other words, members of Hizb take their intellectual indoctrination with them and graduate to other, even more extreme UK groups that do condone violence, such as al-Muhajiroun, which was supposedly dissolved last September, but is still active.
Walid says that the UK contains "enough radical preachers who offer a violent vision", and makes the point that the British would-be bomber Omar Sharif, the 27-year-old from Derby who tried to help blow up a pub in Tel Aviv in 2003, graduated from reading Hizb literature to joining al-Muhajiroun, and then attempted his suicide mission. Hizb is the largest extreme Islamist group in Britain, but exact numbers have been hard to obtain. Walid says that, as far as he is aware, the organisation has between 2,000 and 3,000 members in the UK.
Hizb's actions and recruitment methods give a telling insight into how the four most recent British-born suicide bombers might have also come to be recruited. There is no typical recruit to Hizb, says Walid. The profiling of those who commit terrorist acts as middle class and well educated does not match up to his experience as a recruiter in the north. That is just a "media red herring". "The majority of members in Leeds and Bradford, for example, were not professional: it was mainly guys who were either unemployed or never received a university education, and who probably hadn't even done A-levels," he says.
Walid finds it "shocking and scary" that the London bombers lived in the Pakistani community in Britain. So why do young British Muslims join such groups? The former recruitment man cites a number of factors. First is the way in which Muslim clerics in this country, who are mostly foreign-born, fail to engage with British Muslims. These imams are, as he put it, "disconnected from the challenges of growing up in modern British society". "They were brought up to parrot-learn the Koran. And they discuss things like the correct manner to perfect your prayer. It doesn't resonate with the youth."
Radical Islamist parties are far more in touch with the issues that affect second- and third-generation British Muslims. It's an open goal, one into which radical groups have been scoring time and time again. They don't enforce "orthodoxy", such as dress codes, long beards and prayer five times a day. "They can talk to you on your own terms and in your own lingo," Walid says. "It offers an alternative to the mosques, which are, as I say, disconnected." Such groups also generally have a women's wing, which also adds to their image of being modern and inclusive.
He says the solution that they offer - a return to a wider political Islamic state known as the caliphate - is another attraction, holding promise and acting as a "tangible goal", which members are always made to believe is "on the horizon". They also play upon the idea that the worldwide Muslim community or Umma is a whole; thus, by joining Hizb, members will be directly helping to solve the problems of the Muslim world.
"Groups like Hizb have really cultivated this idea of the Muslims being one body, this idea of the Umma. I think that dynamic is very, very, important. It feeds the groups by allowing them to make you feel as though you are taking active, individual involvement . . . to alleviate the suffering of Muslims.
"The rhetoric of these groups is loaded and is very militant sometimes . . . They will say, 'Work for the caliphate. The caliphate is the one that will restore honour to your mothers and your sisters.' Or 'it's the caliphate that will bring the criminals' - as in Bush and Blair - 'to account'," Walid says.
But radical Islamist parties don't recruit in a bubble. Hizb holds recruitment meetings and reading circles around the country, from Essex to Edinburgh. Their methods at meetings are very personal and direct. "If you came to the meeting I'd try to win you over," Walid explains. "Say for example that you're having a marriage breakdown. I'll use that: 'Your wife is leaving you because of problems that stem from the fact that Islam isn't present in the world today.'"
Hizb has also started to employ new tactics in order to raise the group's profile. For example, Walid says that recently the Muslim community in Stoke was worried about a shop selling pornographic material opening up in the area. He says that Hizb members pushed themselves to the front of the protest campaign. The idea is to gain status in the community. Walid says members of the local group use this increased prestige "as a springboard to win new recruits". Even if this does not happen, members will at least win "active support for its ideas".
Hizb has begun to use other novel methods in its push to recruit the young. Walid described how the party has set up Muslim football tournaments, the aim of which is to preserve religious identity and make the young more susceptible to the message.
"It shows Muslim youth that you can follow Islam right - so you can pray five times a day, but at the same time you can play football and lead a normal life. When you play football you do so within kind of Islamic etiquette - so you don't swear, for example. And you do so in a kind of atmosphere of mutual brotherhood. But of course all of this is designed to turn these guys into future members."
In its attempt to avoid watchful council authorities and the ban by the National Union of Students on Hizb activities in universities, the group books rooms under mild-sounding aliases such as "youth forum". Once it has got permission, it goes ahead with a full-scale event.
And that is the problem. Hizb is a group of intelligent manipulators who are used to competing for recruits against other radical Islamist organisations. It is not easy for ordinary Muslims to combat them, but are they doing anything at all? The New Statesman can also reveal that al-Muhajiroun, an Islamist group that condones violence and advocates the overthrow of western governments, is still operating openly in Derby despite having been officially disbanded eight months ago. Abdullah, a member of al-Muhajiroun, told me: "Yeah, we still meet and I have a stall on Normanton Road on Saturdays."
Abdullah knew Omar Sharif as a fellow member based in Derby. Was there any communal involvement in what he tried to do? "There's some support in Derby. I think when people commit martyrdom operations to attack the enemy, this is the only method they have." I asked him, as we stood outside the city's main mosque, what he thought of the London bombings.
"When you enter a country, you enter into a covenant with the country. You have to abide by the law of the land," Abdullah said. "But someone could also have come from outside this country. If someone came from Iraq - what then?
"This country has been asking for it. Like George Galloway says, if you go and attack people indiscriminately, you're going to pay the price for it. I don't care who you are."
As I leave in my car Abdullah waves me off. And he stays on the pavement, chatting to a group of teenagers.
|This article first appeared in the New Statesman. For the latest in current and cultural affairs subscribe to the New Statesman print edition.|
|Banned in Germany and across the Middle East, Hizb ut-Tahrir, ... As Hizb's own website says: "The work of Hizb ut-Tahrir is to ... change the situation of ...|
www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/554 - 23k -
Hizb ut Tahrir UK threatens US Institute of Peace research fellow ...
|MIM: Below is the letter written by Hizb ut Tahrir leader Imran Waheed threatening to ... Members of the Hizb ut Tahrir in the UK are often British born and ...|
www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/56 - 107k -
Jihad through Jilbab: Hizb ut Tahrir welcomes Islamist garb ruling ...
|The spokewoman of Hizb ut Tahrir , Nazeem Nawaz openly declared the Jihadist ... Dr Nazreen Nawaz, women's representative of Hizb ut-Tahrir which seeks to ...|
www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/467 - 49k -
Hizb ut Tahrir in UK announces "Islam is coming back" - HUT in ...
|MIM: Hizb ut Tahrir (The Party of Liberation), was banned last year in Germany ... The speaker is a member of Hizb ut Tahrir, the most controversial Islamic ...|
www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/326 - 67k -
Hizb ut Tahrir -Al Muhajiroun goons in yuppie clothing: "AM local ...
|See link on MIM site about : Hizb ut Tahrir threatens USIP professor with lawsuit. ... Hizb ut Tahrir is the ' yuppie' contingent of Al Muhajroun . ...|
www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/58 - 85k -
Al Muhajiroun and Hizb ut Tahrir : Al Qaeda linked groups attract ...
|Although both HT and AM have a main base in London, Hizb ut Tahrir does not have a ... Adherents of Hizb ut Tahrir in California formed a music group called ...|
www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/230 - 156k -
The law against religous hatred is -in effect- an invitation to it ...
|Shabina's case was supported in the courts by Hizb ut-Tahrir, an organisation ... The word in the community is her brother is a member of Hizb ut-Tahrir. ...|
www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/476 - 22k -
HP CEO Carly Fiorina ousted due to 'doubts about direction' made ...
|Hizb ut Tahrir' Khalifah' website reprinted excerpts from Carly Fiorina's post 9/11 speech describing her as 'an honest kuffar' February 9, 2005 ...|
www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/426 - 27k -
Self proclaimed Muslim leader says he is establishing an Islamist ...
|MIM: Simple farmers or aligned with Hizb ut Tahrir ? MIM:Despite presenting themselves as 'simple folk' who 'who just want to be free' and(paradoxically) ...|
www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/625 - 22k -
Flogging for Islamic law - 12 tsunami survivors flogged in ACEH ...
|Hizb ut-Tahrir rejects democratic models as a Western invention, incompatible with Islam, and claims to have a footprint in 40 countries, but Indonesia is ...|
www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/720 - 19k -
Iqbal Asaria: Al Qaeda webmaster of Jihad and Ummah.org heads ...
|... are associated with the extremist groups Hizb ut Tahrir and Al Muhajiroun . ... an essay by Jamal Harwood, one of the leaders Hizb ut Tahrir in the UK . ...|
www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/248 - 34k -
UK Not so Golden Radical Islamist Oldies - Where are they now ...
|On 15 January, Omar Bakri Mohammad, leader of Hizb-ut-Tahrir in the UK, resigned, ... Jewish groups are concerned that Hizb ut-Tahrir's change of tactics, ...|
www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/386 - 45k -
Kamran Bokhari's response to MIM press release - Militant Islam ...
|MIM http://artsweb.bham.ac.uk/bmms/1996/08August96.html#Hizb%20ut-Tahrir% ... "Omar Bakri Mohammed, former leader of Hizb ut-Tahrir ,and now leader of ...|
www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/31 - 43k -
UK Muslims glorify Al Muhajiroun suicide bomber : "Hat's off to ...
|Al-Muhajiroun was created in 1994 after it split from Hizb ut-Tahrir, ... Groups like Al-Muhajiroun and Hizb ut-Tahrir are at odds with what other Muslims ...|
www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/136 - 51k -
Global Jihad? Islamist riots in Uzbekistan leave 500 dead spreads ...
|Hizb ut Tahrir - An emerging threat to US interests in Central Asia ... In 2003 Ariel Cohen wrote in a study entitled Hizb ut Tahrir : An emerging threat to ...|
www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/608 - 76k -
Will there always be an England ? Oxford University to become ...
|Arab funded Oxford Center for Islamic Studies under construction - Another British bastion for Al Muhajiroun and Hizb ut Tahrir April 26, 2004 ...|
www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/63 - 38k -
Zero Degrees of Separation: The AMSS -IIIT-IIPT- Al Muhajiroun ...
|... group is based in the UK and closely linked to Hizb ut Tahrir. and Al Qaeda . ... a London based economist, who is an adherent of Hizb ut Tahrir and the ...|
www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/214 - 119k -
Al Muhajiroun flyers in mosque urges Muslims to become terrorist ...
|MIM: For a detailed history of Al Muhajiroun and Hizb ut Tahrir see the ... Most prominent of these are Al Muhajiroun, Hizb-ut-Tahrir and supporters of the ...|
www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/243 - 54k -
Wife of British suicide bomber linked to Omar Bakri and Al ...
|In 1996 Bakri broke away from the group ' Hizb Ut Tahrir' , (The Party of the ... Hizb ut-Tahrir has been banned on University campuses here by the National ...|
www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/42 - 47k -
Articles - Militant Islam Monitor
|"Fanatics want to convert entire world" - Hizb ut Tahrir and Al ... Hizb ut Tahrir in UK announces "Islam is coming back" - HUT in Germany appeals ...|
www.militantislammonitor.org/docs?type=1 - 55k -
Al Muhajiroun : Al Qaeda linked group announces they are 'shutting ...
|Ironically,Hizb ut Tahrir which is a political as opposed to religous yuppie version ... MIM: In 2002 Al Muhajiroun and Hizb ut Tahrir members and leaders ...|
www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/301 - 70k -
Veiled license photo litigant Sultana Freeman: "...wearing niqab ...
|Listing for Hizb ut Tahrir and Al Muhajiroun events on Muttaqun archives: ... Re: Abu Hamza Al Masri recently arrested Al Muhajiroun/Hizb ut Tahrir leader ...|
www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/174 - 134k -
Response to Kamran Bokhari :" Post Islamist Stress Disorder": From ...
|In 1996, Omar Bakri broke from the group Hizb ut-Tahrir which had been banned from British college campuses for advocating the murder of Jews. ...|
www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/95 - 96k -
NY member of Al Muhajiroun whose mother survived WTC bombings set ...
|"Al Muhajiroun and Hizb ut Tahrir attract converts in the US &UK ". http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/95 ...|
www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/250 - 31k -
Lawyer for 8 terror suspects planning radioactive attacks in US ...
|These new charges involve a dirty bomb and chemical attacks and are consistent with the ideology espoused by Al Muhajiroun and Hizb ut Tahrir . ...|
www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/245 - 16k -
Council on American Islamic Relations announces' Islamophobia and ...
|... to be a moderate organisation but is in fact connected to a terrorist network which runs the gamut from Hizb ut Tahrir, the CDLR, MIRA and Al Qaeda. ...|
www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/568 - 27k -
Terrorists terrify terrorism supporters in UK : Al Muhajiroun ...
|... of Hizb-ut-Tahrir (see British Muslims Monthly Survey for February 1996). ... Hizb ut-Tahrir had distributed advertising material in London with the ...|
www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/553 - 49k -
Abu Hamza Al Masri encouraged followers to become suicide bombers ...
|Abu Hamza Al Masri is a co founder of the group Al Muhajiroun and Hizb ut Tahrir and a close associate of the AM leader Sheik Omar Bakri Mohammed. ...|
www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/231 - 34k -
Scott Alexander planned CTU exchange program with Al Quds ...
|The MU website has ties to Hizb ut Tahrir and Al Qaeda . http://www.isna.net/news.asp?view=detail&id=64. For the entire letter click on the ISNA URL above ...|
www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/200 - 88k -
US Treasury Secretary says he "admires" World Bank prez candidate ...
|... is the registered agent of two websites: Jihad.org ,and Ummah.org., which are associated with the extremist groups Hizb ut Tahrir and Al Muhajiroun . ...|
www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/480 - 30k -
Turf war in Londinistan :Terrorists fight fellow Islamists to give ...
|... and The Muslim Association of Britain, two faux moderate UK organisations who are linked to Al Qaeda, Hizb ut Tahrir, Al Muhajiroun, MIRA and the CDLR, ...|
www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/432 - 53k -
Londinistan Metro Muslim Police "dearrest" Abu Hamza Al Masri in ...
|... was the head Imam of the Finsbury Park Mosque in London, and a leader in the Al Muhajiroun movement which was a spin off of the group Hizb ut Tahrir . ...|
www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/268 - 37k -
Al Muhajiroun in New York: Pakistani American wanted to "kill ...
|Abu Hamza Al Masri aka Captain Hook ,was a founder of Hizb ut Tahrir and Al Muhajiroun, and is known for leading the Finsbury Park Mosque in London which ...|
www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/156 - 32k -
Al Muhajiroun leader in Arizona Zakaria Soubra deported after ...
|... Bokhari had stated that Al Muhajiroun in the US was started by a small group of disaffected Hizb ut Tahrir members in New York and gave the impression ...|
www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/68 - 32k -
Militant Islam at The Bernardin Center - Scott Alexander Must ...
|IIPT) Tamimi is associated with Hamas and the militant Hizb Ut Tahrir group, which calls for the destruction of Western society and the implementation of a ...|
www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/197 - 21k -
OSCE conference equates anti semitism with the hoax of ...
|... terrorist linked groups in the UK, (Al Muhajiroun and Hizb ut Tahrir) while receiving thousands in state benefits for themselves and their families. ...|
www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/696 - 39k -
Radical Islam in the Netherlands- A case study in failed European ...
|For example, the international radical organization Hizb ut Tahrir, which promotes jihad in a hidden way, has a presence.13 There are also local Muslim ...|
www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/367 - 113k -
The Joy of Semtex : UK suicide bomber's husband wrote "if not in ...
|Detectives said that Sharif was a member of Hizb ut-Tahrir, an Islamic group that seeks to unite all Islamic states under a single regime. ...|
www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/66 - 77k -
Massive hunt for London bombers - Message on Islamist website says ...
|Al Muhajiroun was formed by Omar Bakri Mohammed in 1996 and was and offshoot of the Hizb ut Tahrir group run by Abu Hamza Al Masri, who was jailed 6 months ...|
www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/756 - 15k -
Al Muhajiroun's Bakri tells Muslims "terrorism is part of Islam ...
|... planned for 8 September [subsequently cancelled], organised by Al-Muhajiroun, the group led by Omar Bakri Mohammed, formerly of Hizb-ut-Tahrir ". ...|
www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/38 - 75k -
Ali Mazrui - lecturer at Bin Laden funded ICPI in South Africa ...
|... group is based in the UK and closely linked to Hizb ut Tahrir. and Al Qaeda . ... run by Ali Al Tamimi, a Hamas activist with ties to Hizb ut Tahrir. ...|
www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/365 - 99k -
Interfaith Outreach & "Excessive Placidity " Towards Islam: Scott ...
|IIPT) Tammimi is associated with Hamas and the militant Hizb Ut Tahrir group, which calls for the destruction of Western society and the implementation of a ...|
www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/149 - 33k -
Al Muhajiroun group planning US Rally : "Terrorism is part of ...
|... -IIIT-IIPT- Al Muhajiroun & Hizb ut Tahrir -UK economist Iqbal Asaria webmaster for Al Qaeda ... Hizb ut Tahrir -Al Muhajiroun goons in yuppie clothing ...|
www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/223 - 74k -
Dutch publisher to lawyer of Muslims filing suit against Danish TV ...
|One of the Islamist groups that advocate extremism, they say, is Hizb-ut-Tahrir, as it seeks to establish a strict Islamic state in Danmark. ...|
www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/339 - 38k -
Dhimmitude in the UK :Al Muhajiroun group ignores' Londonistan ...
|Imram Waheed, London representative of Hizb ut-Tahrir (Islamic Liberation Party), a group led by Abdul Qadeem Zallum that claims to be nonviolent but ...|
www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/227 - 70k -
Satire - Militant Islam Monitor
|Jihad through Jilbab: Hizb ut Tahrir welcomes Islamist garb ruling as "a great source of motivation for Muslims living in the West", March 2, 2005 ...|
www.militantislammonitor.org/docs?type=3 - 46k -
UK Police to Abu Hamza supporters: Would you mind terribly not ...
|... this event at the London School of Economics which is known to be a hotbed of extremist activity for groups such as Al Muhajiroun and Hizb ut Tahrir. ...|
www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/123 - 61k -
Militants in Europe openly call for Jihad and Rule of Islam:"It is ...
|Hizb-ut-tahrir.org warns that an "alliance with America is a great crime forbidden by Islam. The website goes on to explain that it is not concerned about ...|
www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/35 - 91k -
Tariq Ramadan: Terrorism connections cited for revoking slated ...
|He is also linked to groups such as HIzb ut Tahrir , the Committee for the Defense of Legitimate Rights, MIRA, and 'Liberty in the Muslim World '. ...|
www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/255 - 100k -
Terrorist in Beslan school massacre came from Finsbury Park mosque ...
|Al-Muhajiroun (Arabic: The Emigrants) is an ultra-extremist Islamist group operating in the UK, which splintered from Hizb ut-Tahrir in 1996. ...|
www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/294 - 32k -
This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/803