Prime Minister David Cameron confirmed Wednesday that he would still like to ban Hizb ut-Tahrir more than almost four years since calling for the group to be proscribed under Britain’s terrorism laws.
“We have got to target groups that actually promote extremism and not just violent extremism. I would like to see action taken against Hizb ut-Tahrir and that review is under way,” Cameron told MPs.
But The Muslim News has learnt that the ban is likely to be included when the Government announces its review of the Prevent Violent Extremism (PVE) programme later this month.
A Government spokeswoman told The Muslim News that the Prime Minister “has been working hard” to “ban extremist groups, not necessarily violent like Hizb ut-Tahrir” and that this will be included in the forthcoming review of the counter terrorism measures.
In January 2010, Islam4UK and al-Muhajiroun became the first non-violent Muslim groups to be banned when they were proscribed by the former Labour Government for the “glorification” of terrorism.
As leader of the opposition, Cameron raised the issue in July 2007, just a week after Gordon Brown became Prime Minister, when he asked: “We think it [Hizb ut-Tahrir] should be banned – why has this not happened?”
It was raised again at Prime Minister’s Questions in November 2009 during an exchange when Cameron made allegations about two independent Islamic schools which turned out to be untrue. Brown later explained in a letter that any decision to ban the group “must be based on evidence that the group has broken the law” and Hizb ut-Tahrir had not met the tightly defined legal test under the Terrorism Act 2000.
In its election manifesto last year, the Conservatives made the pledge to “ban any organisation which advocate hate or the violent overthrow of our society, such as Hizb-ut-Tahrir.” This came after former Shadow Home Secretary, Chris Grayling MP, also said in his speech to the Conservative Party conference in 2009: “I will immediately ban Hiz b’ut Tahrir”.