Hizbut Tahrir (or "HT" for short) are a political party that wants to re-establish the Caliphate using various means. These include handing out pamphlets at mosques after Friday prayers, sticking up posters on Matthews Street Punchbowl and holding conferences in various parts of Sydney.
I've been to one of their conferences. Not terribly interesting affairs. But I have written about them. Here's something appearing in The Age some years back:
HT teaches that active involvement in democratic politics represents a fundamental breach of the sacred law. Democracy and secularism are declared un-Islamic, voting is forbidden and membership of secular political parties regarded as virtual apostasy. HT insists Muslims work outside the system and re-invent a more "Islamic" wheel, an approach seen by the well-integrated majority of Muslims as an exercise in futility.
Although HT's goal is the re-establishment of the caliphate, they have no clear plan of action. At this stage, HT does little more than distribute pamphlets and hold conferences.
And for something less serious, here's an excerpt from a piece in NewMatilda:
... the Muhammadiyah, one of Indonesia's two main Islamic 'churches.' At last count, the youth group of Muhammadiyah consists of a handful of members around 10 million. The other group, Nahdhatul Ulama (NU) has around 20 million in its youth wing and around 40 million in its senior wing.
The Indonesian wing of HT has around 150,000 members. Excuse me while I check my blood pressure ...
... HT's clumsily expressed methodology attracts so few people, and their ideology is so fringe, that they'll be lucky to take even a first step toward achieving any caliphate. HT should be compared less to al-Qaeda and more to the galaxy of loony socialist groups on campus seeking to establish socialism.
Suffice it to say that HT can't exactly count me as one of their media buddies. And they know it. Look at what they had to say about my piece at the Muslim Village idiots' forums.
Of course, there are some places where the HT crowd know their message will be reproduced almost unadulterated. Fringe attracts fringe, and the fringe fruitloop who edits the opinion page of Sydney's Daily Teleraph has shown his willingness to print entire press releases of HT as op-eds. Tim Blair is one of the few friends on the media HT can count on.
Which made me curious as to why Blair would describe yours truly as one of HT's "media defenders". Does Blair know something that even hard-headed HT aparatchiks don't?
When it comes to hpolding narrow-minded tunnel-visioned nonsensical positions and attract mainly complete morons to their discussions, Blair and HT have plenty in common.
Words © 2009 Irfan Yusuf
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