Letter to Guardian defending Hizb

I agree with the two Muslim MPs who oppose the banning of Hizb ut-Tahrir (Islamist clerics face treason charges, August 8). As a scholar who has some knowledge of their operations in the UK and abroad, I am convinced their modus operandi is through traditional political campaigning, not violence. Believing that nation states in the Middle East are artificial creations of western powers to divide Muslims and exploit oil resources, they seek social justice through the formation of a single Islamic state that serves the poor rather than corrupt clients of foreign powers. They argue that violence cannot be used to take control of the state, but the state can use the military to defend itself against other states.

As a political geographer and Christian socialist, I believe their historical analysis is correct and their conclusion well-reasoned. I cannot share their vision, for it ultimately maintains the Quranic commitment to just war theory that is as much part of the Middle East’s problems as the variants deployed by George Bush and Tony Blair. However, they are not terrorists and parliament must resist this unreasonable attack on freedom of speech.
Dr Nick Megoran
Cambridge University

Letter in Guardian, 9 August 2005