UK vows to ban Hizb ut-Tahrir as terrorist organisation

UK vows to ban Hizb ut-Tahrir as terrorist organisation
UK Home Secretary James Cleverly moves to ban Hizb ut-Tahrir, alleging that the group is 'antisemitic' and 'encourages terrorism'.
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Britain has declared global Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir as a proscribed terrorist organisation [Getty]

Britain's interior minister James Cleverly said on Monday he had begun the process of banning the Sunni Islamist political organisation Hizb ut-Tahrir, claiming it was anti-Semitic and promoted "terrorism".

The group is already banned in Germany, Bangladesh, Egypt, Pakistan and several Central Asian and Arab countries, however observers have highlighted sweeping crackdowns of secular and Islamist opposition groups in several of these states.

"Hizb ut-Tahrir is an anti-Semitic organisation that actively promotes and encourages terrorism, including praising and celebrating the appalling 7 October attacks (on Israel)," Cleverly said.

If a draft order laid before parliament by Cleverly is agreed by MPs, the ban will come into force on January 19, making it an offence to support the group punishable by up to 14 years in prison.

It can also lead to an assets seizure.

Cleverly has power to proscribe an organisation under British law if the group is believed to be "concerned in terrorism, and it is proportionate to do" according to the government's website.

"Hizb ut-Tahrir's praise of the 7 October attacks and associated incidents, as well as describing Hamas as 'heroes' on their central website constitutes promoting and encouraging terrorism," a government statement said.

"Hizb ut-Tahrir has a history of praising and celebrating attacks against Israel and attacks against Jews more widely. The UK stands strongly against anti-Semitism and will not tolerate the promotion of terrorism in any form," it added.

Hizb ut-Tahrir's long-term goal is to unify Muslim majority countries under a caliphate.

Founded in 1953, it is headquartered in Lebanon and operates in at least 32 countries including the UK, United States, Canada and Australia, according to UK's Home Office.