(New York, N.Y.) — Yesterday evening, British parliament passed a draft order proscribing the global Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir (“Party of Liberation”) a terrorist group. The proscription, which took effect at midnight GMT, comes after months of escalated rhetoric from the group’s UK chapter, Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain, which since October 7 has praised Hamas’s attacks, openly calling for Jihad and for ‘Muslim armies’ to invade Israel.
CEP Senior Advisor Professor Ian Acheson, former Director of Community Safety at the Home Office said:
“This action will be welcomed by all right-minded people. Hizb ut-Tahrir is an antisemitic hate group who have been allowed to peddle their vile beliefs openly for far too long on Britain's streets. Calling the terrorists of Hamas 'heroes' for the 10/7 atrocity is just the latest example of their unfitness for public life. The police and Security Service must now make full use of their extensive powers to pursue, arrest and charge anyone who continues to espouse their views including shell organizations that will inevitably spring up in the aftermath of this welcome ban.”
CEP CEO Ambassador Mark Wallace said:
“I commend this decisive move from Britain’s Home Secretary. Hizb ut-Tahrir has long spewed hateful, bigoted, and vitriolic rhetoric, and has the track record of violent alumni to match. Other Western European countries should follow the British example, while the group’s branch in the United States, which holds an annual “Caliphate Conference” in Chicago, also deserves such examination.”
Two previous attempts to ban Hizb ut-Tahrir under both Labour and Conservative governments failed, in large part because the group has avoided direct calls for violence—a hurdle that appears to have been surmounted by the group’s recent public support of Hamas. Also significant for proscription purposes is the fact of HT’s organizational unity. As Security Minister Tom Tugendhat noted in a House of Commons speech yesterday, “one branch cannot be separated from another. The UK branch is important when taking down the network around the world.” Tugendhat went on to cite the group’s anti-democratic and illiberal values: “Hizb ut-Tahrir has antisemitism at its very core. They reject democracy and engage in vile homophobia as an organization.”
Historically, the group has been associated with several prominent individuals who have moved onto overt violent jihadism. Omar Bakri Muhammad went on to found and lead al-Muhajiroun, a proscribed terrorist group in Britain. Other HT alumni include British ISIS executioner Mohammed Emwazi, a.k.a. “Jihadi John,” and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the founder of Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), while Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, mastermind of the 9/11 attack, has also reportedly been associated with the group.
Hizb ut-Tahrir is already banned in several Muslim-majority states, including Bangladesh, Egypt, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, as well as in Germany and China. The U.K. proscription makes it a criminal offense to belong to or promote the group, with conviction carrying up to 14 years in prison.
To read CEP’s Briefing on the United Kingdom’s ban, please click here.
To read CEP’s report on Hizb ut-Tahrir, please click here.
To read CEP’s Blog “Follow Britain’s Lead on Banning Hizb ut-Tahrir,” please click here.
To read CEP’s call to cancel Hizb ut-Tahrir’s conference on Facebook Live, please click here.