Hizb ut-Tahrir and the 1997 Redress

This is a guest post by Raziq, a former member of Hizb-ut-Tahrir

****

Many people are not aware that Hizb-ut-Tahrir is split into two groups. Both groups oppose each other but go by the same name. So how did this situation come about?

In 1997 some members of Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT) claimed to have removed the then leader Abdul Qadeem Zalloom from the Imara (leadership) of the party. In his place they had elected a new Amir (supreme leader) and were now going to correct the mistakes of the previous leadership. This incident led to HT splitting into two groups, the first being those who continued following Zalloom as the leader and the second being those who broke off and formed their own party, also known as Hizb ut-Tahrir. This incident is referred to as the 1997 ‘Redress’.

In this article I will be looking at the reasons why the split occurred and the key differences between the two groups.

Background

From 1986 to 1996, Omar Bakri Mohammad was the head of the British branch of Hizb ut-Tahrir. In 1996 Bakri was expelled from the party for not strictly adhering to the party methodology. Another reason for his expulsion was that he had become too much of a liability: amongst other things he had called for the assassination of Tory PM John Major and expressed a desire to see the flag of Islam flying over Downing Street. He also seemed to love courting the media; his attention seeking tactics were perceived to be giving HT a bad name and damaging its image. HT wanted to project itself as a serious political party but Bakri was doing the opposite, his tactics eventually leading to HT being banned by the NUS. After being expelled from HT, Bakri went on to found al-Muhajiroun and continued where he had left off from. HT then started a process of recanting his books and removing some of the more hate-filled literature from its website. It also began to review its whole strategy in Britain. During this period new editions of party books appeared and there was a change in the accountability structure.

Whilst this ‘reviewing’ process was going on, some members of HT thought that the party had been infiltrated by Mossad. They said concerns of the party activists (shabab) were being ignored and party literature was being moderated. References to Jihad were removed from party books and the party now claimed to be at a stage of readiness to take power (Nusrah). These same members accused Omar Bakri of being an MI5 agent. They also said Zionists had finally infiltrated HT and were now trying to destroy the party from within. They therefore felt that it was incumbent upon them to remove the corrupt leadership that had been infiltrated and work to save the party from destruction. These are the issues that led to the splinter group breaking off and forming HT2.

The split occurred at the leadership level in Jordan. The man to initiate the split was a senior Hizb ut-Tahrir member called Abu Raami. The most prominent member of HT in Britain to follow Raami was Farid Kassim. Kassim had been a founding member of the British branch of HT and was also the party’s national spokesman in the UK. At the time of the split it was believed that 30% of the party had joined the splinter group with 70% still being loyal to Zalloom.

HT1, or Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain (HTB) as it prefers to be known is the main party today and is presently loyal to the global leader Ata Abu Rishta, the successor of Abdul Qadeem Zalloom. The splinter group was initially led by Abu Raami (a senior HT member) who died shortly after the split. It is not known who currently leads this group as they don’t disclose this information to the public.

HT1 have referred to the splinter group as renegades (nakitoun) in the past. The splinter group refers to HT1 as the ‘Zalloomis/Rishtis’ or the ‘Zalloom Faction’.

I will now highlight some of the reasons for the split and the key differences between the two groups.

Some reasons for the split:

HT2 believed that HT 1 changed several key party books hence diluting the party’s original message. They also believe AQZ deviated from the party method and therefore they had no choice but to dismiss him.

HT2 also believed that some members of HT1 indulged in unseen matters like dealing with the jinn (supernatural beings) for a long time. Despite knowing this, Zalloom never reprimanded them and even tried to justify what they did.

HT2 believe Zalloom ignored questions from party activists, changed admin rules and requested members not to attack Saddam Hussein, despite the fact he was clearly acting upon kufr (unbelief).

HT2 claim Zalloom had broken the oath in Hizb ut-Tahrir between the activists and the Amir by not abiding by the idea and method of the party

Key differences between the two groups:

HT believes in a three stage revolution to realise their goal of establishing an Islamist state. The three stages are: the private stage, the public stage (also known as the interaction stage) and the Nusrah stage (the stage of taking power). HT1 claim to be in the Nusrah stage whereas HT2 believe they are in the earlier “interaction stage” which they accuse HT1 of skipping.

HT2 believes HT1 is no longer following the party thought and method. They believe HT1 has deviated in order to remain a legal group in the UK, in that they seek political recognition throughkufr legal systems.

HT1 believes Muslims are allowed to follow the “Shariah” (meaning methodology in this context) of previous prophets. HT2 believe this is not allowed.

Since the split occurred, both groups have continued their work in the UK. They study the same books with slight amendments. Both groups also have their own websites:

HT 1 website: http://www.hizb.org.uk/hizb/index.php

HT 2 website: http://english.hizbuttahrir.org/

Conclusion

For a party whose goal it is to unite Muslims all over the world, this type of split is a devastating blow. Not only do we now have two parties in the UK but we also have another splinter group in the US and also one in Central Asia.

When will HT realise that political paradigms of the 7th century will not work in the 21st century? Political systems, social structures and economic systems have changed over the centuries. Today dreams of global Muslim unity are laughable especially when a small group like HT can’t even stay united. Furthermore, the founder of Hizb-ut-Tahrir had hoped to establish his Islamist state within 13 years but this didn’t happen. The party then predicted it would happen within 30 years, this also didn’t happen. After that many members left the party and HT lost many key members.

HT is a failed movement with a bankrupt ideology that is no longer relevant in the 21st century.

This entry was posted in Islamism and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.

26 Comments

  1. Martin
    Posted November 30, 2009 at 3:05 PM | Permalink

    Jinn? HT have lost the plot!!! Great article by the way Raziq!

  2. Hassan
    Posted November 30, 2009 at 3:25 PM | Permalink

    Wait, this is confusing. So, there are 2 groups, who both claim to be Hizb-ut-Tahrir? Of the 2, which are the globally sanctioned group? Ie – those who are deemed to be on the “haqq” by the global HT Don Coreleone (presuming there is one)? Also, do HT2 effectively hold the same ideology as ALM?

  3. Seerat
    Posted November 30, 2009 at 3:49 PM | Permalink

    Great post – not many people know about the HT split in the UK. Though minor in the broader scheme of things – it is important to bear in mind that for a political party that likes to pretend that they can unite Muslims worldwide – they can’t even stay united within their own ranks. What losers.

  4. Raziq
    Posted November 30, 2009 at 3:50 PM | Permalink

    Hassan

    Yes there are two groups who both claim to be the real HT : )

    They both operate globally, although HTB is the larger of the two. The global leader Ata Abu Rishta is the leader of the first group, HT1 which is known in the UK as HTB.

    The global leader of HT2 is not known, they don’t mention who it is either.

    HT2 are not as crazy as ALM. They consider OBM and Anjum Choudary to be Govt agents working to undermine Muslims.

  5. Abdullah Schweitzer
    Posted November 30, 2009 at 4:06 PM | Permalink

    Great article Raziq, explains very clearly why the split took place. Can you say who are the present UK ‘amirs’ of HT1 and HT2 respectively? Thanks.

  6. Raziq
    Posted November 30, 2009 at 4:21 PM | Permalink

    Abdullah Schweitzer,

    The current leader of HT1 in the UK is Nasim Ghani.

    I don’t know for certain who the UK leader of HT2. Its most likely Farid Kassim, althought I couldn’t confirm that 100%.

  7. dawood
    Posted November 30, 2009 at 7:30 PM | Permalink

    The current leader of HT1 in the UK is Nasim Ghani.

    Doctor Nasim “Patrick” Ghani. Extremism on the NHS.

  8. Posted November 30, 2009 at 8:19 PM | Permalink

    Nasim Ghani, the wannabe Dr Evil of Islamist world domination, and his motley bunch of weirdos were the subject of a very amusing article last year. It ended as follows:

    Thank God for Hizb ut Tahrir al Islami. Without them the fake jihadi messageboards of Britain would be so short of deprecating humour – how they are so jeered at now even by those they think are on their side. They are a bigger national joke now than the Salafis with their expecting-a-flood trousers as they freeze to death on the way to Friday prayers in February cursing puddle-splashing cars like madmen. Rule the world, let alone Britain? George on Rainbow has more of a chance and he is a camp, pink hippo – and, by the way, he’s not real either.

    http://westminsterjournal.com/content/view/138/30/

  9. Zalloom
    Posted November 30, 2009 at 8:42 PM | Permalink

    Where is Abdul Rehman? : )

  10. Posted November 30, 2009 at 8:47 PM | Permalink

    I think Abdel Rehman is hiding because he does not want to tell me what his blog is called…

    Incidentally, this from AR recently:

    For the record i am not a member of HTB or any similar organisation, although I agree with their principles but in no way speak for them.

    http://www.spittoon.org/archives/3449/comment-page-1#comment-14449

  11. Hassan
    Posted November 30, 2009 at 9:10 PM | Permalink

    Raziq,

    So the UK HT schism is just a reflection of global split? Do the 2 HTs despise each other? The people who hand out leaflets outside mosques, they are HT1, for the most part – right?

  12. bananabrain
    Posted December 1, 2009 at 8:52 AM | Permalink

    For the record i am not a member of HTB or any similar organisation, although I agree with their principles but in no way speak for them.

    maybe he’s got access to some public funding and set up a school!

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  13. Rafia
    Posted December 1, 2009 at 2:45 PM | Permalink

    Raziq,

    Thanks for the illuminating piece. One more point of clarification: I know that khilafah.com is linked with HT1, but what about hizb-ut-tahrir.org? Is that also HT1?

  14. Raziq
    Posted December 1, 2009 at 3:01 PM | Permalink

    Rafia – hizbuttahrir.org is HT2 and hizb.org is HT1

  15. Raziq
    Posted December 1, 2009 at 5:28 PM | Permalink

    Hassan

    That’s right. Both parties despise each other. HT1 mainly leaflets outside mosques. HT2 has gone back to the private stage, so they aren’t interacting with the society yet : ) they’re going to build the support base again. They’ve been doing that for the last 12 years.

    Both parties believe each other are deviant and misled.

  16. Posted December 1, 2009 at 5:45 PM | Permalink

    Oh crikey, Raziq!

    It sounds like Maoist outfits with which I was involved in the late ’70s and early ’80s… before I got sense.

    Raise high the Mighty Red Banner!

  17. Ehsan
    Posted June 10, 2010 at 9:55 PM | Permalink

    Interesting piece of writing, although i came accross of it so late…i was jus wondering what exactly the condition of Farid Kassim these days!!! Is he still in the politics, is he still active or which party exactly is he representing now?? does he write any blog or somthing!!?? i tried hizbuttahrir.org but this site happens to be down and doesn’t load, suppose its bloked in my country and i’m from Bangladesh. Many thanks in Advance and an answere is highly appreciated.

  18. Ali
    Posted February 27, 2011 at 10:06 PM | Permalink

    Hi Ehsan

    I saw Farid Kassim in late 2009 when on the way to Hajj. He seems ok .

  19. Yusef
    Posted May 27, 2011 at 6:03 PM | Permalink

    HT (HT2) has a discussion forum where I think they have affiliates who post on it at:

    http://forum.hizbuttahrir.org/

    Their Official Website is

    http://www.hizbuttahrir.org/

    The split had nothing to do with Omar Bakri nor the UK but the changes being made to the adopted HT culture and the watering down with out accountability.

  20. Tariq
    Posted August 6, 2011 at 2:08 AM | Permalink

    LOL!
    Another kiss and tell article from a person claiming to be a former member of HT.
    Let me guess… you spent atleast 3 yrs of your life totally devoted to HT as a student before becoming a full-fleged member. Now your an expert on HT1 and HT2. I assume your familiar in detail with ideas/concepts they hold, after all you did study their books in halaqa.

    Do you know Maajid Nawaz? The reason why I ask is because (if your involvement is to be believed) you seem to have gone from one extreme (HT) to the other extreme (Secular).
    Bipolar disorder comes to mind.

  21. Wajid al-Icecreami
    Posted August 6, 2011 at 1:13 PM | Permalink

    Tariq – since when was being secular extreme? It seems you’re still influenced by HT propaganda.

  22. Nabhani
    Posted August 7, 2011 at 12:32 PM | Permalink

    LOL – Tariq is another brain dead robot!

  23. Zalloum
    Posted August 7, 2011 at 12:36 PM | Permalink

    Tariq – Are you upset that you never got passed the shabab stage? lol

  24. Posted September 13, 2011 at 10:28 PM | Permalink

    LOL – Tariq is another brain dead robot

  25. Aziz
    Posted November 3, 2012 at 4:08 PM | Permalink

    The ‘Redress’ (or ‘undress’; take your pick!) was nothing but a pathetic attempt to give ‘mouth to mouth’ to a corpse (……could have been a bit of necrophilia, going by some the sexual shenanigans which some HuT members have been up to as of late!).

    OBM’s ‘departure’ in January 1996 (was he pushed or did he jump?) was Asian politics at it’s best. After being promised support by the Willaya Commitee; (WC; how apt, they were always full of shit!) John Duncan Harwood, Abdul Wajid Hamid, Imitiaz Malik, Abdul Basset Sheikh, Farid Kasim etc. OBM basically told the leadership comittee of HT where to go. However, the WC didn’t flush as promised (sorry, I just couldn’t resist that one!).

    A year or so later (coincidence?) HuT launched the only coup it could; against itself! However it still failed, becoming a protracted civil war in the process. Ironically one of the most moronic and mentally-deficient UK party members; Tanwir (this guy was a classic, he used to argue with himself and challenge ‘God’!), who happened to be on a trip to Jordan, was ‘tasked’ by the Abu Rami lot, to contact ‘select’ members in the UK about the ‘Re(un)dress’ and to solicit support for it.

    In 1995 a little known, or mentioned character, by the name of Hasan Bushnak arrived on the scene in London. Bushnak claimed to be senior HuT member in Jordan who was seeking political asylum in the UK. Just asylum would have been more appropriate, considering Hasan’s schizophrenic pronouncements of grandeur! The aforementioned was clearly a sexually frustrated individual, who used to pepper his limited English with coarse sexual vocabulary, mostly aimed at the female HuT rank and file. Hasan used to travel the country claiming that he was sent by the HuT leadership to keep tabs on OBM and to reform HuT UK into an orthodox (now, that’s one word which one doesn’t normally associate HuT with!) branch of the party! Basically, OBM and Hasan hated one another. It was clearly the case of two bald men fighting over a comb, i.e the dumb ‘pakis’ (or the ‘ajami’ – ‘non-Arabs’ , as prefered by Hasan). The Jumped up Jordanian manged to gain ‘employment’ at a dingy hotel near Baker Street, run by a party acolyte; Azhar Sheikh, who went by the name of ‘Peter Robinson’. ‘Peter’ was jailed a few yeras later for massive tax fraud!

    After being unable to gain both asylum or ‘cunt’ as he loved to state, Bushnak faded off the radar back to Jordan. A few years later he appeared in Belgium, where he was content with slagging off his Moroccan hosts for their poor Arabic and lack of concern for his libido, in that they weren’t being proactive enough in finding him a ‘woman’ (Nb. he hardly if ever used the word ‘wife’). This dispicable being WAS, as it transpires, a SENIOR HuT member in Jordan. A damning indictment if ever!

    The rest is, as they say, history!

    Plague on BOTH their houses!

  26. Aziz
    Posted November 3, 2012 at 4:17 PM | Permalink

    Btw, Nasim Ghani is a ‘revert’ is he? Firstly to what; HuT or to Islam? The absolute majority of the UK’s Bangladeshi population is Muslim. Furthermore this character formerly known as ‘Patrick’ is hardly able to string a few words together (presumably in any language!). Ed Husain claims that Ghani is a relative of his, though D-ed doesn’t elaborate whether the good doctor was the one who recruited him to the ‘dark side’. More info please anyone!

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Subscribe without commenting

  • Categories

  • Archives