Obama and Hizb ut Tahrir

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BY SHIRAZ MAHER 

This Sunday the activities of the vicious Islamist group Hizb ut Tahrir (HT) will reach another milestone. Notably, the group will be holding its first public event in America, signalling its move towards a more open phase of activity in the United States. A slick video, embedded below, shows how the group is trying to appeal:

What’s significant about this is that HT had originally hoped to launch itself in America sometime in late 2001 or early 2002. The events of September 11 scuppered those plans. It was felt the political climate had changed too much and the group feared launching itself during such a difficult time.

Instead, HT continued to build cells discretely and away from public view. That the group is now willing to launch itself so early into the Obama administration suggests his more laissez-faire approach towards combating Islamist groups has actually bolstered their position – most notably, in his own country.

Americans should be very concerned about these developments. HT is no paper tiger. Its late global leader (he was in charge from 1977 – 2003), Abdul Qadeem Zalloom wrote that:

[…]He who does not rule by Islam and rules by a Kufr system should either retract or be killed.

[…]The rule by a Kufr system would (sic) be prevented even if this led to several years of fighting and even if it led to the killing of millions of Muslims and to the martyrdom of millions of believers.

In itself, this is a remarkable passage and reveals just how far HT is willing to go in the pursuit of its aims.

Tony Blair vowed to ban the group in Britain after 7/7 but struggled to follow through on that promise. One of the reasons is that HT is simply too big in Britain and has invested a lot in its operations here. By contrast, the Germans saw the way things were going here and moved to ban HT while it was still in its incipient phases, stifling HT’s growth in Germany at an early stage.

Obama will now have to decide how to deal with this emerging threat within his own borders too.