Hizb Al-Tahrir & Jordan: What Should be Done?

Jordan has detained eight members of the Islamist group Hizb ut Tahrir shortly after they hung the outlawed party’s flags on mosque walls in the capital at the start of a Muslim feast, party activists said on Thursday.

The activists, who asked not to be named, said security forces arrested the eight soon after they hung the party’s flag on wallls of several mosques before the start of the Muslim Eid al Adha prayers on Tuesday.

The black flag is the banner of the Islamic caliphate which the party calls for reviving by non-violent means. [reuters]

Two days earlier, the Jordanian authorities arrested two members of the banned party in a camp for the Palestinian refugees near the capital Amman.

Thereby number of persons arrested from the Liberation Party increased during the four past months to more than 30 persons, according to the same source. The last shift of this group whose members were arrested in October 2005 after the distribution of al-Waee (the conscious ) magazine issued by the party to worshippers inside mosques in Amman.

The source added that those persons were brought the state security court under the pretext of being “members in an illegal organization” and working to establishing a Kheilafa based Islamic state. [arab news]

Hizb Al-Tahrir is one of those groups that I just can’t seem to get on board with. Is it just me or is every group that calls for a return to the Islamic Caliphate a little out of touch with current realities? Seriously, when I read the Tahrir’s constitution I get the sense that they really want to go back to those days, which were in part great, but long gone. In doing so however you destroy, neglect and dismiss hundreds of years of progress. Progress in society, in knowledge, in religion, in just about every area of life. There’s a reason why they call it a past.

While the Tahrir does not preach violent methods when it comes to revolution it is nevertheless pushing for one to happen and thus take the place of the monarchy in Jordan or whatever system is set up in any other Muslim nation.

There are things this group preaches which of course I have to agree with as they are derived straight from Islam, such as the replacing of clergy with personal ijtihad. Something that becomes more appealing everyday in a world where clerics are running towards TV fame by issuing lame and controversial fatwaâ??s from their rears.

Women’s rights is another thing. Anti-torture. Pro-society. In short their social agenda is not so bad and in some cases their vision exceeds what’s available today in some parts of the Muslim world. On the other hand their foreign affairs department needs a little help. Being part of organizations like the UN and the WTO and so forth would be deemed “un-Islamic”. Jihad would be declared against Israel until it is destroyed and no more making friends with non-Muslim nations. Even the Palestinian Authority is a no-no; hence the whole ‘out of touch with current realities’ element. This of course is merely my opinion.

When it comes to Jordan it is of course a banned party since the 50’s I believe. They differ from the more extremist Wahabbi movement which tends to more violent in achieving political goals while the Tahrir see it as against Islamic teachings to use violence to change the system or to overthrow a ruler who is Muslim (which it is). Hence their process is more of recruitment and infiltration into the government to inspire a quiet revolution if you will. In Jordan however the group was instead infiltrated by the government from the beginning before it was banned.

The question is should this group be allowed to practice in Jordan?
As an established political party perhaps. It is not banned in other Arab nations like Lebanon, Yemen and the UAE. Should it be allowed given the effects of recent events in Amman?

More importantly, is cracking down on the group in post-attacks only creating an environment in which its disheartened members will move farther to the right of the ideological spectrum? Will a generation of young disgruntled bystanders in Jordan be angry and fearful and resort to joining more pro-violent groups for protection?

Questions which need answers before it’s too late.


  • It is important to deal with violence-inclined religious radicals. However, the saying that, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” certainly does apply. The flow of religious discourse needs to change in Jordan from being one based and fueled by politics and emotionalism to one based on knowledge and spirituality. This is not to deny the role of religion in political discourse–far from it–but to understand that the purpose of religion is the promotion of religiousness, piety, and spiritual concerns, not merely to promote an idealized (and, frankly, unrealistic) political agenda.

  • If Jordan is to recognize Hizb Al Tahrir as a political organization; many countries in Europe must recognize the Neo-nazi organizations as well. I neither should be permitted to operate.

  • I don’t think there’s anything fundamentally wrong in the idea of allowing this party to operate politically in Jordan. I don’t know much about it, but from what you describe I think there actually seems to be more harm in banning it than not.

    What I’m trying to say is that if this group has been in Jordan since the 50’s, then by banning it we have prevented it from evolving into something definitely better and perhaps more in line with our societies needs and wishes.

    The disassociation from reality that exists in this party’s plan could have been erased during 50 years of political activism in Jordan.

  • This is a true democratic dilemma. During my years at university I met a few people from Tahrir party, and I actually developed friendships with them despite being a secular and almost agnostic person. The Party does not call for violence, and is harmless in terms of terrorism. It has a firm position regarding democracy which is “Kufr” for them and they are strongly dedicated to Islamic Khilafat. Moreover, as individuals thay are clean, honest and not opportunistic like Islamic Brotherhood party. They dispise luxury and live by the minimum they can afford.
    From an idealistic point of view, they have the right to exist and preach their cause since it does not have any negative impacts more than Nancy Ajram and Haifa Wahbeh songs, but the real issue is the tendency of the folowers of this party to violence. This will be answered only by statistical records of the percentage of Tahrir followers who have become terrorists. If the number is high then the risk is high and a tight security monitoring is required. I do not see a reason for jailing people for raising flags.

  • Hizb ut tahrir is a well known non-violent party. It has an aim of re-establishing the Islamic way of life. If you speak to their members as I have, you will quickly realise that they are not the caricature of a mad mulla. Rather they view Islam intellectually.

    They will articulate quite profoundly how the Islamic economic system will bring prosperity to the Muslim world and how it is superior in comparison to the capitalist and communist economic model.

    The will show how the Islamic social system will bring harmony to the relationship between men and women as opposed to the use of women as sex objects and second rate citizens by current regimes in the East and West.

    Ad how they khilafah will set up its own international bodies which are not controlled by 5 strong nations (UN security council) why would any state want to be part of the UN when quite clearly the stronger nations use it to justify colonialism and when it goes against them they will ignore the UN (re: Iraq)

    So Hizb ut tahrir wants to establish a modern and technologically advanced Islamic state. Thatâ??s why they are banned.

  • No, I don`t think they should be banned. I think that they have effectively shown a proper intellectual side to Islam by having carried research as complex as genetics engineering, economics, social system etc. They are definitely accounting in a stern manner the King of Jordan and making sure that people don`t keep silent about the way he governs.
    The thing is that by being pragmatic you will not be able to radically transform society and that is exactly what the muslim world needs: a radical transformation. We have clearly seen that over the past 80 years or so, secular capitalism has utterly failed. I think that it is really abnormal that lands like Saudi Arabia blessed with so much resources is doing so poorly on the world stage.
    Regarding the possible re-emergence of the caliphate, well you need to look more closely at the recent statements made by Bush, Blair, Cheny and the likes. They are really worried about its re-emergence in the near future given the frustration in the Muslim lands. Actually, the CIA even predicted that the Caliphate might be re-established by 2015 in a report published in 2005. The Washington Post published a long article about it a week ago and how the public opinion in the Muslims lands has changed favourably to it.

  • In regards to Hizb ut-Tahrir, the party is non- violent as has been mentioned on several occasions. One needs to appreciate that their whole methodology to achieve change is based on sound Ijtihad, which was carried out by the founder (and mujtahid) Taqiuddin An Nabhani. Subsequently, all the systems of government, be it economics, foreign policy, ruling system etc are in waiting to be implemented. One comment asserted that the party wishes to go back to the old days. This is far from the reality. A simple reading of the party’s literature shows quite clearly that reverting back to those days is actually antithesis to Islam and not what the party advocates. In regards to the party being banned, then I do not agree with this proposal. The call for Khilafah has been gaining fast momentum over the past few years and even in the western world, talks about the caliphate are becoming common discussions. If the Jordanian authority is sincere then they would abandon thier current constitution and adopt the Islamic constitution! Therefore, I urge all readers to be sincere regarding the debate about political Islam and not derive wild and unfit assertions about HT or its method of change. We need to appreciate our obligations of re-establishing the Khilafah Rashida, otherwise this Ummah will fall into the shadows of history and be remembered as one of the great civilisations of all time but a civilisation that was overcomed by democracy and dictators!

  • I remember having discussions with members of HT at University about four years ago. It’s true, the first thing I felt was that they weren’t in touch with reality… but after a few hours of discussion I realised I was embarrassingly wrong. They argued that you can’t clean a dirty pond if you jump in yourself. Instead you have to keep outside the pond and study it well and understand it. They then interact with society and change it without becoming MPs or joining other (Haram) organisations themselves.

    Do they understand modern politics? Definitely better than me anyway. I remember one member of HT made detailed predictions about New Labour and the Conservative Party’s (UK) future policies and four years later they turn out to be spot on.

    I spent two years trying to work out how to refute some of their deeper arguments so I’m well versed with things that can be said against them – however, what I read nowadays on websites, news sites, etc is a complete joke. It seems to me people misunderstand what HT are trying to say or purposefully quote them out of context. I’m just waiting for someone to prove to me that working for Khilafah is not a Fard on every Muslim and also to give me an alternative step-by-step method to change society so that I can finally tell HT that I was right all those years ago… looks like I’m still waiting. Until then, I guess I have to support them even if it is just by dua’.

  • I must say that I am disappointed with Shayke Rabbani’s comment, for a such an upcoming and venerable scholar it is a disheartening for myself to not see him supporting groups like Hezb ut Tahrir. I am not well travelled, but I have met members of Hezb ut Tahrir from Jordan and Lubanon, including their Ulema – I full confidence that they can return the Muslims to a dignified and progressive state, and I say this to my peers and students.

  • can anyone put me in touch with Hizb ul-Tahrir in Jordan? I’d like to follow up on the recent arrests and see whether they are still in jail or whether there has been a trial.

    The human rights standard is that every organization whose aims and practices are peaceful should be allowed to operate legally. If you don’t like them, you don’t have to join them, and they cannot oblige you to like them.

    Christoph Wilcke
    +1 646 322 8355
    Ù?Ù?Ù?Ù?Ù? راÙ?تس Ù?Ù?تش

  • Nas, if you see this very delayed piaster, could you tell me where I saw you respond to some other blog (A Lebanese guy?I can’t remember where now!)where this group allowed child molestation? You had linked this post, I believe.

    Thanks for any help you can give…I’m still working on the article

  • Hi all,

    In the United States, the party as legal as the Republican party and well respected among Western scholars. First, they never use any violent methods in achieving their goals, and second, they are very politically minded.

    As far as things such as allowing molestation and pornography, that’s just Salafi propoganda against the group. They failed to bring any reference to any HT literature to support their claims. Again, the Salafis are the same group that accused Amr Khalid of rape, Yusuf Qardawi of Kufr, and the infamous 9/11! Salafis go as far as saying if u have no beard, you are a kafir.

    Unfortunately, they were infiltrated by Jordan secret services. I don’t agree with many of their views, but I do give them major credit for predicting the fall of Jerusalem months before it happened, and predicting the American occupation of Saudi land before the Gulf War.

    Finally, I really don’t call the last couple of hundred years of our history as progress, and it’s obvious that we were part of a superpower (Ottomon State – regardless of its flaws during its final decade).

    I think we failed to progress in part due to the failure of scholars and Mullahs to incorporate industrialization with Islam, and regarding it as westernization. Normally, we should copy what’s good about a nation, and leave what’s bad. Today we’re doing the opposite. Arabs still can’t make cars!

    Thank for your time reading this

  • Assalaam brothers,
    This is indeed interesting to know that u people are discussing whether to ban Hizb ut Tahrir or not.If a person deeply thinks about the reality of muslims, their lands and the current poitical scenario,one thing is sure.Whatever people do or say against this idea which hizb is propogating,a true muslim who is well versed with the texts of islam cannot deny any of their views.Im an Indian.And here we have thousands of people agreeing to the ideology of hizb.And day by day its growing by hundreds.Same is the case in Pakistan,Bangladesh and central Asian countries.We are fed up of the ideas of Muslim Brotherhood and Jamaat e islami,coz due to their participation in the political system in the countries they work,they have lost their credibility.But still i personally feel they are sincere muslims.They just got carried away with false principles like,the issue of practicality,gradual implementation of Islam,benefit fot muslims etc.The promise of Allah is the Truth.The deen of Allah will prevail by the hands of the sincere sons of this Ummah.
    Ma A Salaam.

  • Im not even jordanian, im from england, the hizb has growing popularity here too,but i see it as agood thing. there actually not extremists, rather they use quite intellectual arguments to put forward what they believe. Rather than just going by salafi propaganda, were not going to learn anything until we talk to them ourselves. banning them will make the go underground!

  • well its not the group which is ‘spread’, its there ideas! ie that there needs to be change in the muslim lands.

  • Those who accuse HT of being out of touch, I wonder if actually they who are out of touch with reality. For example, lets look at the argument of HT not to be part of the UN. What has the UN given the Muslim world over last 50 or 60 years? Isn’t it a fact that the UN is used conviently by the West whenever it wants to? Look at the resolutions past against Iraq, which is enforced, and the resolutions past against Israel which is not enforced. Also, look at the nuclear non-plorifation treaty and how it’s used against Iran, but silent when it comes to Israel. Now, some claiming to still be part of all these biased institutions; who is REALLY OUT OF TOUCH?
    Liberating Palestine, what’s so un-realistic about that? Only a self defeated person will argue that it’s impossible. If a handful of Zionist can establish a state then why can’t a unified nation with a unified army (Khilafah) cannot liberate Palestine. Lets face it, it will not be the first time the (Khilafah) destroyed a nation; don’t forget it destroyed the Roman and the Persian empire. In politics nations rise and fall; who would have thought 2 decades ago that the Soviet Union would be no longer, or did anyone ever think that the USA would be a super-power couple of hundreds years ago.
    All these nonsense about HT taking people back to the past; have the Arabs ever wondered why their lands are occupied now? why they are economiclly, politically, socially and every other ways so backward. Why is it that the only time the Arabs had respect and were a super-power was only when they were living under the Khilafah even though it had its weakness’.


  • Assalaam all,
    I am from Bangladesh. I know about HT and their work here. Their message is quite clear and bold. They call for khilafah the islamic state which will protect the muslims as well as the non muslims whereas today the reality is that the cheapest thing in the world is the blood of a muslim and the world humanity is also at stake. I think everyone should know about what they propagate. They call for what is in Quran and sunnah. Though Quran was revealed since long time but it is applicable for mankind untill the day of Judgement. So their is no chance of going back the age of camel!!!!!!! or against progress. Rather it is well-proved that the scientific or technological developements we are watching today is still grateful to many muslim scientists who were the product of Islamic state the khilafah.

    So banning HT will rather prevent the progress of mankind.

    Ma A Salaam.

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