Our readers might recall that some time ago this blog had a mild run-in with Hizb ut-Tahrir, an organization that even according to the Observer "campaigns for Britain to become a caliphate - a country subject to Islamic law". It is also an organization that is banned in a number of countries, including, at different ends of the political spectrum, Canada and Pakistan.
Soon after the 7/7 bombings in London, Tony Blair announced that, as part of the fight against terrorism, he would seek the banning of the group. Furthermore,
On a trip to Pakistan last month, he is understood to have given personal assurances to President Pervez Musharraf that the ban would go ahead. Musharraf made clear to him that outlawing the group - banned in Pakistan since 2003 - must be a priority for Britain.Well, President Musharraf can go whistle for that ban. After "intense discussions" between Number 10 and legal experts it was decided not to ban the group. Our counter-terrorism experts, who spent the past 15 years turning this country into "Londonistan" have, once again brought their moderation into play:
Despite public concerns about Hizb ut-Tahrir's perceived extremism, Home Office lawyers, the Foreign Office and representatives of the Association of Chief Police Officers have quietly lobbied against outlawing the group and have, for now, won the argument.Good to know that this country is well looked after by its guardians. Shall we hear anything from Her Majesty's Opposition?
"If there was evidence for proscribing Hizb ut-Tahrir, we would support a move to proscribe it," said Rob Beckley, Acpo lead for communities and counter-terrorism. "But we think such a move would be counter-productive and not in the spirit of the government's [anti-terrorism] legislation. It is not an offence to hold extreme views."
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