Banning Hizb ut-Tahrir

HizbOsama Saeed and Yusuf Smith comment on leaked official emails from August 2005, relating to the government’s anti-terror measures, that have been published by the New Statesman. The material provides some useful insights into the proposal to ban Hizb ut-Tahrir.

One of the emails (from Foreign Office official Robert Tinline, head of the multilateral and terrorist financing section of the counter-terrorism department) points out that “there is no apparent case to proscribe HuT” and notes that “much of their literature explicitly rejects the use of violence”.

But home secretary Charles Clarke did not reject a ban. Rather, he is reported as arguing that “he would prefer putting off proscription of HuT until after the proposed amendments to the current legislation: it would, for example, be much easier to argue that HuT met the criteria of ‘justifying and glorifying violence’. Clarke said that his fear was that the Government would lose the case for proscription and so wanted to act cautiously”.

There could hardly be a better illustration of the way the “glorification” clause in the Terrorism Bill (rejected by the Lords) would be used to ban organisations that pose no terrorist threat at all.

The leaked emails can be downloaded (in pdf format) here.