Hizb ut-Tahrir Emerges in America
On Israel and Jews
Posted: July 28, 2009
Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT) claims that Islam is in conflict with the existence of Israel, which it says harms both Islam and Muslims, and has a history of encouraging followers to eliminate Israel and the Jews as a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This long record of hostility toward Israel and the Jews belies HT's claim that it does not espouse or condone violence, and, according to the U.S. State Department, can yield violent acts against the U.S. and its allies and generate support for terrorism.
A press release dated May 31, 2010, was posted on HT America's Web site in response to the Israeli naval operation to stop a flotilla of ships en route to Gaza on the same day. "O people: indeed Hizb ut-Tahrir strengthens your determination… there is no solution except to mobilize armies, gathering the capable soldiers and fight the Jews," the statement declared. The release also calls on Pakistan and Iran to attack Israel, saying "O you possessors of the missiles that you boast can blow 'Israel' off the map, so where are you now, O Pakistan and Iran's rulers?!"
In another press release in response to the flotilla incident, the Pakistani branch of HT issued a statement calling on the Pakistani army to "prepare nuclear bombs and other weapons for Jihad… fight under this command to annihilate Israel." The Bangladeshi branch of HT also condoned violence in a press release that called upon Muslim armies to "eradicate Israel and purify the earth of Jewish filth."
In March 2008, HT posted a press release on its Web site in response to Israel's retaliatory military action in Gaza, which was employed to stop Hamas from firing rockets into Israeli towns. "There is only one and uniquely one solution," the statement declared, "and that is to exterminate the entity of the Jews from existence." In another press release that month, HT called on Pakistan and Iran to attack Israel as "the only option that the state of Jews deserves." The statement also urged Muslims to "direct your anger at the armed forces so that they stir up fighting the Jews."
In addition to the inflammatory pronouncements on its Web site, HT America has also condoned violence and jihad during their monthly online discussions. In April 2010, an HT America leader asserted, "When the Muslim land is occupied, jihad is the obligation to those who are attacked by the kufar [non-Muslims]."
Leaders of HT America also produce a monthly newsletter, titled "The Shield," which has condemned Israel. In the May 2010 newsletter, an editorial claimed, "Israel was created by the West in order to ensure the Ummah remains divided and continually occupied in an endless struggle with a Western proxy."
HT has also distributed virulently anti-Israel leaflets. In 2007, HT Australia reportedly promoted a conference in Sydney with a leaflet that depicted a dagger plunged into a map of the Middle East with the words "'Israel' is an illegal state" written in blood.
HT Denmark's spokesman Fadi Abdelatif was convicted in Copenhagen in 2002, and again in 2005, for inciting young Muslims to kill Jews, first in an Internet posting and later in a leaflet. The leaflet, which called Jews "a people of slander…a treacherous people," made threats against Jews and called on Muslims to "kill them all, wherever you find them." The leaflet, which was available on HT's Web site, encouraged suicide bombings in Israel as "legitimate" acts of "martyrdom."
HT has also been prosecuted elsewhere in Europe for distributing anti-Semitic publications. Germany banned the group in 2003 for "spreading hate and violence" in leaflets that called for the killing of Jews, according to German officials. In 2005, the National Union of Students barred HT from universities in the UK after accusations of anti-Semitism. The group does, however, still operate legally in the UK.
HT's leadership has also publicly expressed opposition to Jews and Israel. In an April 2002 response to Israel's military operations at the Jenin refugee camp, HT in Sudan released a press statement on its Web site condemning the "miserable brethren of pigs and monkeys" of carrying out "brutal massacres." "Recognition and negotiation with the Jews," the press release continued, "is a betrayal of Allah."
In a 2000 interview with the Central Asia Caucasus Institute at John Hopkins University, an unidentified HT Central Asian leader openly stated, "We are very much opposed to the Jews and Israel… The United States is the enemy of Islam with the Jews."
HT's former global leader, Sheikh Abdul Qadeem Zalloom, reportedly declared an injunction in 1988, saying, "If the plane belongs to a country at war with Muslims, like Israel, it is allowed to hijack it, for there is no sanctity for Israel nor for the Jews in it."