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Hizb ut-Tahrir: A danger to the West? Part four

HT, regarding itself as an intellectual movement, is keen to indoctrinate its recruits in the intricacies of Islamic law and thought before they can reach positions of influence.

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Omar Bakri Mohammed, who co-founded the British branch of Hizb ut-Tahrir in 1986, gave a revealing interview to the Jamestown Foundation in March 2004. Bakri said he had been actively involved in the Muslim Brotherhood from age 15 to 17 in his native Syria, and then joined Hizb ut-Tahrir in Lebanon. His MB connections had drawn attention from the Syrian authorities, causing him to flee to Lebanon. In 1979 he went to Egypt for six months, before going to Saudi Arabia where he established a branch of Hizb ut-Tahrir, which by 1983 had 38 members. In 1983, HT in Kuwait expelled him from the group, but he continued to operate a group which called itself "Al Muhajiroun".

Bakri arrived in Britain and was approached by the German head of Hizb ut-Tahrir who persuaded him to rejoin HT. He co-founded a British branch of HT in 1986 but this was, he claimed, not part of the official structure of international HT. Bakri stated that he had left HT UK voluntarily on January 16, 1996. It would be a month later that he would form his own group, which he called Al Muhajiroun.

What is interesting from Bakri's interview is the claim that under the leadership of the second emir, Abd al-Qadim Zallum (or Abdul Kaddim Zalloum) who governed HT from the end of 1977 until spring of 2003, there were splits within the international group. Bakri spoke of "camps" which officially came into existence after 1996. Camp 2, led by Abu Rami, was prominent in Jordan. An offshoot of Camp 1 (the main HT faction) was known as Hizb Waed (the Party of Promise) but is only active in Jerusalem. This is Camp 3. Bakri explained that Camp 4 comprised reformists, called Reformers of Hizb ut-Tahrir. This grouping was led in Germany by Dr Tawfiq Mustafa, and in the United States by Iyad Hilal.

For a group that claims to propose establishing global hegemony under a world-wide Caliphate, such splits only highlight how unrealistic HT's aims are. If its own structure cannot unite, it sets a poor model for others to follow. It is unknown if the current emir, Ata Abu Rashta, has managed to fully unite these various factions within HT.

On Saturday, August 4, 2007, Hizb UK held a conference at Alexandra Palace in north London. A poorly-made video presentation (available on YouTube) which advertised the conference attempts to show the global unity of HT. Using snippets of video and pictures from websites, HT activists are shown from the following countries: Pakistan Bangladesh, Switzerland, Jordan, UAE, Palestine, Jordan, Yemen, Turkey, Belgium, Indonesia, Australia and America.

What is striking from the image from America is that it shows only one individual, rather than a group. This is not 58-year old Iyad Hilal, who led "Reformers of Hizb ut-Tahrir". It is Dr Jaleel Abdul-Adil, a convert to Islam, who is now the "new face" of American Hizb ut-Tahrir (HTA). He spoke at the August conference in Britain. Jaleel Abdul-Adil is a professor at the University of Illinois in Chicago. Like Dr Abdul Wahid, the spokesman for the British branch of HT, he is a psychiatrist. At UIC, he works in the area of juvenile disorders, and is part of the Disruptive Behavior Disorders Clinic. He is also an associate professor at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

According to Abdul-Adil's resume, he specializes in "evidence-based, culturally-sensitive family therapy for urban youth, including conduct disorder and oppositional defiant disorder, gang involvement, and inner-city violence. Dr. Abdul-Adil is the co-founder of Young Warriors, a youth intervention program that uses modern rap music and hip-hop media to promote critical thinking and prosocial skills in urban adolescents. He remains invol



Adrian Morgan is a British bas
The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author only, not of Spero News.
Filed under islam, terrorism, Terrorism
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