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Hizb ut-Tahrir (Britain) as a New Religious Movement

04.04.2007 22:04 msk

Yulia Ustinova (London)

Religious life

Introduction

New Religious Movements (NRMs) are peculiar social phenomena. It is very easy to become confused when trying to attribute that phenomenon to one or another field of science: sociology, history, theology or political science. Actually, it is a cross-disciplinary issue, which allows one to use analytical methods from all those science fields. Although the general and basic rule about NRMs is that one cannot generalize about them, there are some common features that have been elaborated by sociologists1.

The NRM phenomenon emerged in the last three or four decades of the twentieth century and has not been confined to the western world only, but has spread to Japan, Korea, and the former Soviet Union. Some of the other variables that one should take into consideration when studying NRMs are: their origins; beliefs and practices; aims and goals; authority structures; communication among members; degree of political involvement; sources of finance; and their attitude towards social institutions, including the family, education and relations with the wider society. Against that backdrop, one of the definition of an NRM, adopted by Eileen Barker, is that it ‘is religious in so far as it offers not merely narrow theological statements about the existence and nature of supernatural beings, but that it proposes answers to… ultimate questions that have traditionally been addressed by mainstream religions…’2.

Wilson has formulated several characteristics to typify new religious movements. Among them are: exclusiveness in the sense of allegiance; a complete monopoly on religious truth, which constitutes the framework for all beliefs and practices; an anti-sacerdotal manner of functioning; charismatic leadership; voluntarism in choosing to join an NRM; a following predominantly young and drawn from the better-educated and middle class sections of society; establishment of sustained standards of behavior among members; the demand of total allegiance; and, finally, the group’s remonstrant nature3.

According to Barker, the characteristics that make an NRM more substantial as a new factor on the social stage are ‘the unambiguous clarity and certainty in the belief systems, the urgency of the message’4, and the strong separation between the Movement and the rest of society5. It is also important to clarify that the NRMs’ protest is not necessarily ‘against other religious bodies, but against the secular society, and, in some measure, possibly against the state’6. In this sense, an NRM requires some standards of religious practices, that influence all aspects of personal behaviour in the social and, occasionally, the political spheres. It is worth mentioning that membership of NRMs is likely to consist of first-generation believers, which determines the greater enthusiasm of their activities.

Drawing on this definition of NRMs as a sociological phenomenon, this paper will analyze these particular characteristics with reference to the Hizb ut-Tahrir in Britain (Islamic Liberation Party)7. It argues that Hizb ut-Tahrir’s British variant is best characterized as a New Islamic Movement rather than just a political party. Specifically, this paper will examine the origin, mission and recruiting techniques of the Party, its membership and structure, as well as its interplay with the wider society. I shall demonstrate that the principal features of NRMs, listed above, may be easily attributed to Hizb ut-Tahrir. The Party repeats the socio-demographics characteristics and general patterns of activity, development and structure of an NRM.

It must also be stressed that, when we talk about modern Islamic movements, we do not intend to analyze Islam as a religious system. This distinction can be confusing, because Islam is still an alien religion to many Westerners. The roots of this problem, as Burrell puts it, lies in the fact that, for Muslims, ‘religion remains a source of moral guidance, of spiritual inspiration and personal consolation on a scale which many westerners have not experienced’8. The challenge of adapting Islam to fit the modern political and social context has created violent struggles, contributing to the historic Western view of Islam as something aggressive and completely alien. Given these perceptions, it is crucial to distinguish between these related but separate general notions.

Origin

Hizb ut-Tahrir was founded in Jerusalem in 1953 by Taqi ud-Din an-Nabahani9. His ideas spread throughout the Arab countries of the Middle East, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Jordan, and Lebanon, as well as Central Asia, Russia and the European states, including the United Kingdom and Germany. After the death of the founder, the leadership passed to another Palestinian clergyman, Sheikh Abdul Qadim Zallum. In the United Kingdom the Party came to public notice around 1988, following its public call to hijack airplanes with Israelis and Jews onboard10. The Party later organized several conferences and demonstrations at the Wembley Conference Centre and in Trafalgar Square. Ultimately, it became publicly notorious, and was banned by the National Union of Students and by the universities where it had been active11.

In 1996, Omar Bakri Muhammad left the Party and organized the al-Muhajiroun movement. Hizb ut-Tahrir subsequently distinguished itself from its more radical offshoot, eventually entering the political stage with a 2001 statement denouncing the 11th of September al-Qaeda attacks on Washington and New-York12. The Party’s senior leaders are, currently, spokesman Dr. Imran Waheed, executive committee member Abdul Wahid, and others. Thus, the movement is a relatively new one, as is its foray into the political domain. An account of the Party’s platform, mission and goals further underscores its status as an NRM.

Mission and Methods

Hizb ut-Tahrir’s primary goal remains the establishment of pan-Islamic world dominance (Khilafah), based on Islamic law (Sharia). Members of the Party believe that the last Islamic caliphate was the Ottoman Empire, which was abolished by Kemal Ataturk in 1924. ‘Our vision of the Islamic Caliphate is as an independent state having an elected and accountable ruler, an independent judiciary, political parties, the rule of law and equal rights for minority groups. … The Caliphate will play a pivotal role in projecting a positive image of Islam to the West’, says the spokesman for the Party, Imran Waheed13. In other words, the institution of the modern nation-state in the territories of the empire is considered by the Party as an act of Western colonialism.

According to Party doctrine, the restoration of the caliphate is supposed to be reached through three stages of social change: Intellectual struggle, (providing Islamic teaching and education about the movement’s history, philosophy and ideology); Intellectual transformation, (which means establishing contact with other parties and groups and the infiltration into military, security and government institutions); and a political coup and subsequent transfer of authority to Islamic leaders. This methodology was derived from the Islamic texts and the Prophet Muhammad’s deeds; namely, the establishment the first Islamic State in Madinah14.

Re-establishing the caliphate is a controversial objective and was highly criticized not only by western scholars and politicians, but also by other Islamic activists and movements, including the Muslim Brotherhood. The reason for this criticism stems from another principal idea in the Party’s platform – political struggle against the corrupted and tyrannical regimes of the Muslim world, which, from Hizb ut-Tahrir’s point of view, do not operate under Sharia. Their view was clear: as Islamic law is not the single source of legislation in Muslim countries, and their constitutions are not based entirely on Islam, the governments of these countries must be deposed.

At the same time, the Party claims that its goal can be reached by continuous intellectual and political work focused on encouraging debate and discussion at the political level. All kinds of violence or armed struggle are considered by the Party to be a violation of the Islamic Sharia and are, thus, strictly prohibited. Moreover, the Party claims that it is the Islamic duty of any Muslim citizen to prevent an act of violence or terror from taking place15. Notably, Hizb ut-Tahrir immediately denounced the 11th September and 7th July terrorist attacks in the United States and United Kingdom, respectively16. Nevertheless, the Party is steadily accused of encouraging violent jihad, anti-Semitism and of opposing democracy.

In sociological terms, in accordance with the given analysis, Hizb ut-Tahrir may be clearly defined as a new religious movement, despite the fact that the Party itself expounds its doctrine as political. Wilson has explored the idea that the protest of NRMs may not necessarily be religious in nature17. We can see that, in the case of Hizb ut-Tahir, the protest is aimed at the secular state, political, social and cultural reality of the world, opposing the imperfections of the modern government. At the same time, the Party derives the model for its activity from the Islamic ethos.

Structure, membership and recruitment techniques18

Hizb ut-Tahrir’s global structure remains unclear, due to its secretive nature. In general, however, the Party is divided into Vilayas (provinces). In the United Kingdom, the Party is a branch that is empowered to conduct its own administrative affairs. Moreover, ‘there is an executive committee charged with executing these tasks and elections are held to determine the composition of this committee. The elections take place every two years and the entire membership of the party in any given province takes part in these elections’19.

The Party claims that there are no special requirements for becoming a member. To join Hizb ut-Tahrir, one should be a Muslim and share the Party’s beliefs and goals20. However, the period of “indoctrination”, during which a potential candidate is trained and taught the ideology of the movement, may take up to three years21. The quantity and especially the names of the ordinary members are often unknown, sometimes even to the other Party members. Mateen Siddiqui, the Vice-president of the Islamic Supreme Council of America, states that, in the regional units, the Party has committees that are divided into sub-committees, ‘all of which answer to the secret leadership’22. In Britain, the names of the leaders and senior members are known and listed on the Party web page23. They readily give interviews and organize various meetings and conferences.

Hizb ut-Tahrir’s British branch operates on two levels: recruiting among students and, to a lesser extent, on the street, as well as ‘through communications modes, such as its web-based journal Khilafah and its communiques’24. Among its activities are: disseminating Islamic intellectual and political thoughts widely in Muslim societies through discussions, study circles, lectures, leaflet distributions, publishing books and magazines, and via the Internet; presenting Islam as a comprehensive way of life; expressing its views on political events and analyzing them from an Islamic perspective; and working with influential people within society in order to convince them of the necessity of intellectual and political change25.

A real niche area that is exploited by the Party is activities around mosques. The majority of the Imams at British mosques have been educated outside the United Kingdom. As a result, many have not experienced, and thus do not understand, many of the challenges facing young Muslims in Britain. Having been schooled in an orthodox Islamic tradition, they often fail to provide any practical advice on societal issues, such as alcohol consumption or sexual relationships. By comparison, groups, such as Hizb ut-Tahrir, operating at the grass-roots levels, are deeply involved in the community and their members are predominantly relatively young26. That is why they are ready to help Muslims in solving a wide range of problems: housing, education, drug addiction, and so on. So, the core idea, as a former member of Hizb ut-Tahrir, Mr. Shiraz Maher, asserted, is to live within the community, engage yourself with the community and become part of it, and then push forward the Party’s agenda27.

Another area in which Hizb ut-Tahrir puts its ideas into practice is by recruiting people on university campuses. Michael Whine, the director of the Group Relations Division of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, asserts that, initially, the Party recruited members only among students, especially at Imperial College, London, and later at Queen Mary College. Subsequently, Hizb ut-Tahrir embarked on a street-recruitment and leafleting campaign28. This technique is not new and is successfully used by most new religious movements. Yet, in the United Kingdom, universities have become a particularly important target for Hizb ut-Tahrir. The reasons for this are obvious: it is possible to attract people from all over the world; the risk of being punished or persecuted is relatively low compared with Arab countries; and some of new converts may be sent back to the Muslim world, bearing the message that an Islamic revival is occurring place in the West29.

These practices militate in favour of the conclusion that Hizb ut-Tahrir is not a traditional populist movement. Its goals and strategy appeal to well-educated, middle-class professionals. Whine, for example, points out that even the literature that the movement produces is printed in full colour and is of high quality, so ‘is intended to be attractive to the class of prospective converts they seek’30.

To present exact figures about the membership of Hizb ut-Tahrir is problematic: they range from several hundreds to several thousands in each country. The evident reason for this is the secretive and partly clandestine nature of its organizational and authority structures. Another reason is the high level of rotation and defection within the Party, which is a typical feature of almost all NRMs31. The number of new members in this movement is also unknown. However, it is true to say that Hizb ut-Tahrir remains relatively popular and annually engages new converts. Against this backdrop, the intriguing question here is why well-educated and relatively prosperous people from Muslim communities become recruits, and what makes them prone to this?

Part of the answer lies in the fact that the basic recruiting techniques and methods of the Party were modified due to changes in the international political, military and cultural environment. Being highly sensitive to those global changes, and understanding the major problems and demands of Muslims living in Britain, Hizb ut-Tahrir slightly altered its methods of targeting the auditorium and communicating with the wider British society. This high level of adaptability in tailoring its message and methodology to the populations of different countries was repeatedly mentioned by U.S. political scientists and consultants, who prepared analytical reports for the American Government32.

How is this adaptability revealed? Firstly, within the Muslim community in Britain, there remains a strong, tribal, old-fashioned system that insists on absolute obedience to the elders. Hizb ut-Tahrir, by comparison, is coming to these communities to empower younger and middle-aged people, and all genders. This reveals that it is a more progressive, modern organization. Secondly, the Party’s British branch adopted models of action used by groups such as Hamas or Hizbollah, particularly their involvement in large-scale social projects. By providing assistance and help in solving problems related to housing, drug-addiction or education, the movement is trying to gain intellectual and political leadership within the Muslim community at large.

Thirdly, an important demographic shift in the leadership of Hizb ut-Tahir and other, similar organizations has occurred. The current generation of Party leaders was born and raised in the United Kingdom. This implies that they are far better educated in the idioms of western liberal democracy, and know what they can legitimately say and do in public. Such tactics make the wider society more likely to support the movement’s right to express its ideas, even if they disagree with them. In this manner, Hizb ut-Tahrir is exploiting the basic right of freedom of speech, which is fundamental to Western democratic society; for example, the right to publish books, produce CDs and tapes, and express its opinions through its website and press coverage on most prominent western websites, including the BBC or CNN. In this manner, the freedoms that Hizb ut-Tahrir has been afforded in the United Kingdom permit the Party not only to recruit new members but also to establish far broader infrastructures that can attract audiences in Muslim countries all over the world.

Interaction with the wider society

One of the most distinctive features of almost every NRM is its complex and strained relationship with the wider society. From a sociological perspective, the analysis of this relationship may contribute not only to the study of the movement but also to the understanding of the society as a whole. In theory, people’s conceptions about an NRM is formed on the basis of academic research, politicians’ statements, the mass media’s construction of the movement’s image, the activities of anti-cult movements and reports of psychotherapists, whose work is ostensibly devoted to the “salvation of innocent souls”. Obviously, most of these methods (except for the academic studies) present the ‘secondary construction of reality’, which means that the image obtained of the movement will be incomplete or inaccurate. Nevertheless, it may serve as an indicator of its perceived vulnerability: namely, it may reveal ‘what aspects of which movements are selected for condemnation’33. In other words, the way in which we understand NRMs reflects what society sees as particularly threatening at any given time, as well as demonstrating the strength of the social cohesion of that particular society or community.

Hizb ut-Tahir reflects a long pattern of social change in the United Kingdom. The emergence of British youth culture after the Second World War did not initially turn to the religious scene. In the 1960s and 1970s, however, there was a rise of ‘enthusiastic religion (the charismatic, neo-pentecostal and/or restoration movements) filtering into the mainstream Churches34. The most prominent movements at that time were the Children of God and the Unification Church. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, movements such as the Church of Scientology and the New Age came to the forefront of the religious and political scene. Currently, the highest political and social concern is engendered by the contemporary Islamic movements. This stems from several factors. Firstly, Islam is certainly a less known and familiar religious tradition than Judeo-Christian tradition, on which the majority of NRMs are based. Secondly, religious devotion in Islam appears at least strange or even alien to Western society, which, in Europe at least, is predominantly secular. Thirdly, most of the new Islamic movements possess highly politicized platforms, goals, and methods. Fourthly, after the September 11th attacks, many Westerners have implicitly linked Islam as a religion with global terrorism. This is why it is very difficult to draw a distinction between ‘Islam as a religion and civilization and Islam as a political ideology’35. The activities of Hizb ut-Tahrir are, by default, considered dangerous and violent. The Party is now banned in many Arab states, Germany, Russia and the Muslim-majority states of Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan). The Prime-minister of Great Britain, Tony Blair, announced similar plans in August 2005, but these were not implemented. This is another specific feature about the Party: although there is no anti-cult movement against it, it is subject to political opposition instead.

So, of what evils is the Party accused? Firstly, Hizb ut-Tahrir is suspected of using violent methods to achieve its goals, encouraging terrorism and global jihad, and radicalizing and brainwashing the Muslim youth in Britain. Despite the fact that the Party is officially a nonviolent movement, some scholars insist that its members ‘do participate in violent jihad as individuals’36. Secondly, the Party is criticized for opposing democracy and capitalism, as well as promoting anti-Semitism. Thirdly, the movement delivers an anti-integration message to Muslim communities in the West, which may, in the long-term, precipitate a clash between Muslims and non-Muslims. Undoubtedly, the latter issue could cause serious challenges for the United Kingdom’s multi-national and multi-cultural society.

Nonetheless, the senior leaders of Hizb ut-Tahrir continue to affirm that it is a non-violent movement, focused on intellectual and political work. In one of his 2005 articles, Hizb ut-Tahir’s executive committee member, Abdul Wahid, admitted that some members of the party ‘in their first flush of political activism around a decade ago, were over-enthusiastic in their work’37. That activism remains a factor, which makes the Party’s ideas difficult to accept. I would like to point out that this pattern closely coincides with the theoretical evidence on temporal differences that occur within most NRMs. Accordingly to Barker, such movements tend to become more like the wider society, because ‘modern society is a pluralist society into which the movements may merge in a number of different forms’38.

Another reason why the image of the Party is considered to be aggressive is the continuing tendency to confuse Hizb ut-Tahrir with al-Muhajiroun, the radical Islamic movement. The founder of al-Muhajiroun, Omar Bakri Muhammad, left Hizb ut-Tahrir in 1996. Nonetheless, Hizb ut-Tahrir’s leaders appear to resent strongly the presence of any association with him ‘by word or deed’39. The Party also refutes its allegedly anti-semitic character. In an interview, Dr. Imran Waheed explained that Hizb ut-Tahrir never viewed non-Muslims as “second class citizens” and that the Islamic Khilafah would have an obligation to protect non-Muslims. He also clarified that the Jews and Christians used to be called Ahl al-Dhimma, People of the Covenant, and were granted legal status under sharia40.

Still, accusations of anti-semitism remain. Until the Arab-Israeli conflict in the Middle East is settled, Muslims and members of the radical Islamic movements will probably continue to be accused of hating the Jews. Similarly, what Muslims call ‘retaliation’, the rest of the world may understand to mean ‘war’. As Whine notes, Hizb ut-Tahrir came to public notice in April 1988, when it distributed leaflets entitled ‘The Islamic Rule on Hijacking Airplanes’ outside the Central London Mosque. The gist of the leaflet was that every Muslim should hijack airplanes carrying Jews, and that such attacks would not be seen as a violation of Sharia41. This appeal is radical indeed. However, without a direct review of the document, all judgements of it would be selective and incomplete. Moreover, making a generalization about a single leaflet cannot contribute greatly to the clarification of the Party’s goals and ideas.

The mass media made a major contribution towards constructing the image of the Party.

Since NRMs first appeared on the religious and social scene, they have attracted critical attention from the press. Basically, sociologists42 point out that NRMs makes the news predominantly when there is a supposed scandal to report. According to Barker, most of the associated print and broadcast materials are of a critical and sensational nature, leaving a predominantly negative impression.43 So, a ‘negative summary event’ is being created and, consequently, the negative stereotypes are carried forward from one news item to another.

In the case of Hizb ut-Tahrir in November 2006, for example, the BBC’s Newsnight programme broadcast a film about the movement’s activities in the United Kingdom, with a particular focus on London.44 According to this news feature, the Party continues to brainwash young Muslims, requiring them to swear allegiance on the Koran and then commit violent actions in order to become a member. The film also alleged that the members of the movement are still trying to recruit students on university campuses and leafleting the neighbouring mosques, often causing a lot of problems for the local communities. The most significant fact is that this particular film was previously shown in 2003, and Whine quotes parts of it in his article.45 This indicates that the film was made in 2003 or even earlier, but that it is still used as present-day evidence of Hizb ut-Tahrir’s activities and techniques. Needless to say, the Party’s subsequent comments concerning the programme found support even among British non-Muslims: ‘The Newsnight programme was politically motivated… They linked the issue of terrorism with non-violent Islamic political work and the call for a Caliphate in the Muslim world’.46

As mentioned above, tension between a new religious movement and the mass media is not restricted to Hizb ut-Tahrir. However, in respect of the Party, such stories work as a double-edged sword, because of the modern international political context defined by the crisis in Iraq and the Global War on Terrorism, in which Britain is directly involved. Moreover, the leaders of Hizb ut-Tahrir tend to use the mass media in order to promote their goals or clarify their political position. In particular, the Party was involved in the Muslim veil debate, which took place in autumn 2006 following Tony Blair’s speech concerning the necessity for community cohesion in the United Kingdom.47 Both the British Government and its political initiatives were highly criticized by Hizb ut-Tahrir’s leaders. ‘It is not necessarily useful to confuse important but distinct debates about Islam, the situation of Muslims in Britain, the global aspirations of Muslims, and national security. These are very different issues that to be considered separately’,48 wrote Abdul Wahid. This abstract demonstrates clearly how the Party exploits political events in order to justify its course and use the media to influence the construction of its own image.

Conclusion

This essay has sought to analyze various characteristics of Hizb ut-Tahrir (Britain) and compare them with the features that are attributed to NRMs in general. Based on this research, it is possible to conclude that Hizb ut-Tahrir is best characterized as an NRM.

Indeed, Hizb ut-Tahrir is a relatively new religious movement, based on Islamic tradition and law. The activities, beliefs and practices of Hizb ut-Tahrir in Britain are aimed at attaining the major goal of the restoration of the caliphate, predominantly through the education and intellectual transformation of society. The founders and current leaders of the Party insist on the monopoly and ultimate verity of its religious ideas, which cause tensions, even with other Islamic movements in the Arab world.

The movement has a relatively rigid, well-organized structure. There are no special requirements for becoming a member of the movement, apart from being a Muslim and sharing Hizb ut-Tahrir’s goals. However, the process of teaching and training new members may take 2-3 years. As stated above, the main target audience of the movement is predominantly young, well-educated Muslims drawn from the middle class sections of society. Using intellectual and political work in order to “enlighten” Muslims, Hizb ut-Tahrir remains small in number, while retaining the capacity to recruit and indoctrinate new members. This ideological dimension allows it both to influence people and to communicate its political and religious messages to Arab and other Muslim-majority countries.

As is the case with most NRMs, Hizb ut-Tahrir makes a protest against contemporary reality. Generally, the main objects of its criticism are the political and social conditions of the world, the shortcomings of the Islamic governments which deviate from Sharia law, and the state of modern culture. Hizb ut-Tahrir uses all kind of information resources – leaflets and books, tapes and CDs, web-based publications and participation in scientific seminars and television programmes – to spread its ideas to the wider society, not only to Muslims. This approach reflects Hizb ut-Tahrir’s highly adaptable nature: it is using the freedoms associated with Western society in order to spread its message not only all over the United Kingdom, but also to Muslim countries in the Middle East.

The interplay between Hizb ut-Tahrir and the wider society is highly complex and controversial. The problem is that the desire of the Party to separate itself from the West and the ‘rejection of the nation-state as a concept’49 is considered highly dangerous to the British multi-national society, since the promotion of a single, universal caliphate itself constitutes an implicit denial of the legitimacy of the modern nation-state.

Consequently, the Party is frequently accused of using violence to achieve its major goals, employing brainwashing or forceful recruitment techniques, and supporting terror organizations all over the world. The mass media also often contributes to the construction of a negative and one-sided image of the Party. However, Hizb ut-Tahrir exploits crucial political debates in order to justify its course, and uses the media to influence the construction of its own image. In this sense, although applying non-violent, intellectual methods of spreading its message and confronting the state, Hizb ut-Tahrir is deepening the divide between “Us” and “Them”, the movement and the Western political structures, which is certainly a prominent feature of NRMs.

Comment:

1 Barker E. (1999) ‘New Religious Movements: Their incidence and significance’, in Wilson B., Cresswell J. editors. New Religious Movements: Challenge and response. London: Routledge, pp.15-31; Wilson B. (1982) Religion in sociological perspective. Oxford: Oxford University Press; Wilson B. (1999) ‘Introduction’, in Wilson B., Cresswell J. editors. New Religious Movements: Challenge and response. London: Routledge. The Institute of Oriental Philosophy European Centre, pp.1-11; Bromley D. (1998) ‘New Religious Movements’, in Swatos W. Jr. (ed.) Encyclopedia of Religion and Society [online]. Available here [accessed 08.12.06].

2 Barker E. (1999) Op. cit., p.16.

3 Wilson B. (1982) Op. cit.

4 Barker E. (1999) Op. cit., p. 20.

5 In sociology, this distinction is often labelled as the ‘Us/Them’ divide.

6 Wilson B. (1982) Op. cit., p.92.

7 In Great Britain, Hizb ut-Tahrir is not officially registered as a party.

8 Burrel R. M. (ed.) (1989) Islamic Fundamentalism. Papers read at the seminar held at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, on March 10th, 1998. Royal Asiatic Society, p. 9.

9 Sheikh Al-Nabahani was a judge on Jerusalem's Islamic appellate court.

10 See Whine M. (2004) ‘Hizb ut-Tahrir in Open Societies’, in Baran Z. (ed.) The Challenge of Hizb ut-Tahrir: Deciphering and Combating Radical Islamist Ideology [online]. Conference report. The Nixon Center. Available here [accessed 29.11.06].

11 Ibid.

12 See Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain [online]. Available here

13 Paraipan M. (2005). Hizb ut-Tahrir: An Interview with Imran Waheed [online]. Available: http://www.worldpress.org [accessed 01.12.06].

14 See Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain [online]; Siddiqui M. (2004) ‘The doctrine of Hizb ut-Tahrir’, in Baran Z. Op. cit.; Whine M. Op.cit.

15 See Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain [online].

16 Ibid.

17 See footnote 5.

18 This paragraph is specifically based on a personal interview with the former member of Hizb ut-Tahrir.

19 Abedin M. (2004) Inside Hizb ut-Tahrir: An Interview with Jalaluddin Patel, Leader of Hizb ut-Tahrir in the UK. Spotlight on Terror [online]. Available here [accessed 08.12.06].

20 Ibid.

21 Interview with a former member of Hizb ut-Tahrir.

22 Siddiqui M. Op.cit.

23 Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain [online].

24 Whine M. Op.cit.

25 Paraipan M. Op.cit.

26 It should be pointed out that, according to Islamic tradition, people are called ‘young’ up to their fifties.

27 Maher Sh. (2006) Modes and Methods: How Islamist Groups Operate in Modern Britain. Presentation at the INFORM seminar XXXVII “New Religious Movements and Politics”. LSE, 25 November, 2006.

28 Whine M. Op.cit.

29 See Maher Sh. Op. cit.

30 Whine M. Op. cit.

31 See Barker (1989) Op.cit.; Wilson B. (1999) Op.cit.

32 Baran Z. Op. cit.

33 Barker E. (1999) Op.cit.

34 Ibid. p. 22.

35 Ibid. p. 4.

36 Baran Z. Op.cit.

37 Wahid A. (2005b) Hizb-ut-Tahrir’s distinction [online]. Available here [accessed 05.12.06]

38 Barker E. (1999) Op. cit., p. 21.

39 Wahid A. (2005b) Op. cit.

40 See Paraipan M. Op. cit.

41 Whine M. Op. cit.

42 See Barker E. (1999) Op. cit.; Wilson B. (1992) (ed.) The Social Dimensions of Sectarianism: Sects and New Religious Movements in Contemporary Society. Oxford: Clarendon Press; Wilson B. (1999) Op. cit.

43 See Barker E. (1989) Op.cit.

44 See http://www.bbc.co.uk [accessed 10.12.06]

45 Whine M. Op. cit.

46 See http://www.hizb.org.uk

47 The speech is published at: http://www.number-10.gov.uk

48 Wahid A. (2005a) Tony Blair and Hizb-ut-Tahrir: “Muslims under the bed” [online]. Available here [accessed 05.12.06].

49 Taji-Farouki S. (1996). ‘Islamic State Theories and Contemporary Realities’, in Sidahmed A. S., Ehteshami A. editors. Islamic Fundamentalism. Oxford: Westview Press, p. 42.

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Yulia Ustinova - MA student, King's College London