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UK government moves to outlaw Hizb ut-Tahrir as a terrorist organisation

UK Home Secretary James Cleverly has introduced an order to Parliament to formally ban the group Hizb ut-Tahrir under the Terrorism Act 2000. If the legislative body approves, the ban will take effect on January 19, turning association with or support for the organisation into a criminal act.

Hizb ut-Tahrir — an international Sunni Islamist political movement — was established in 1953 to reinstate a global Caliphate governed by Islamic law. It currently wields influence in at least 32 countries including the UK, US, Canada and Australia from its headquarters in Lebanon.

The group has received heightened attention recently over its stance on the 7 October attacks by Hamas on Israel. Their central website describes Hamas as “heroes”, while its followers were accused of chanting "jihad" at a Free Palestine rally in London. Scotland Yard said it would take no further action about the rhetoric.

The Home Secretary deemed the group “antisemitic”, citing its celebration of Hamas. Mr Cleverly emphasised the UK's unequivocal stance against antisemitism and terrorism promotion.

Security Minister Tom Tugendhat echoed Cleverly's sentiments, highlighting the group's disturbing celebration of violence and its blatant disregard for the safety and lives of Israeli citizens and the Jewish community in the UK. 

The British wing of Hizb ut-Tahrir is yet to issue a public statement. 

The proposed proscription of Hizb ut-Tahrir follows precedents set by several international jurisdictions. The governments of Germany, Egypt, Bangladesh, Pakistan and several Central Asian and Arab countries have also banned its activities. 

Parliamentary debates on the order are scheduled for this week. If the ban succeeds, Hizb ut-Tahrir will join the ranks of 79 other entities, including al-Qaeda, ISIS and the Wagner Group, on the UK’s list of prohibited organisations.

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