Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Disinformation, eh?

UPDATE: A very warm welcome to visitors from Harry's Place.

There is a letter in the Times today that deserves attention. It is from a Mr Imran Waheed, the media representative of Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain.

Let's have a look at this letter, keeping in mind exactly what it is that Hizb ut-Tahrir actually wants:
Sir, By conflating the events of 9/11 with the caliphate (editorial, Sept 11), you ignore the growing aspirations of millions in the Muslim world for the return of the caliphate through solely political work. You wrongly portray the caliphate as some kind of medieval militant aspiration.
Not medieval? Article 7c sounds pretty medieval to me:
Those who are guilty of apostasy (murtadd) from Islam are to be executed according to the rule of apostasy, provided they have by themselves renounced Islam.

No militant aspiration? What then is the purpose of Article 184 in your constitution? ("4. With states that are actually belligerent states, like Israel, a state of war must be taken as the basis for all measures and dealings with them. They must be dealt with as if a real war existed between us - whether an armistice exists or not - and all their subjects are prevented from entering the State. ")
Or Article 56? ("Jihad is a compulsory duty ( farD) on all Muslims. Military training is therefore compulsory. Thus, every male Muslim, fifteen years and over, is obliged to undergo military training in readiness for jihad. ")

Muslims envision the caliphate as a state with a representative government
Well, that's "representative" as long as you aren't female, a slave or a non-Muslim (Article 19). Actually, whilst we are about it, does any kind of morally reasonable state require to say anything about the status of slaves?

and an independent judiciary,
Well, possibly yes, but the prospects for abuse are extraordinary given the powers granted to them in Article 76 (" The muHtasib has the authority to judge upon violations, at any place as soon as he gains knowledge of these violations without the need to hold a court session. A number of policemen are put at the muhHtasib's disposal to carry out his orders and to execute his verdicts immediately. "), particularly as there is effectively no right of appeal under Article 74 (" There are no courts of appeal or cassation, because all judgements are of equal standing. Thus, once the judge has pronounced the verdict it becomes effective and no other judge's decision can overturn it, unless he judged with other than Islam, disagreed with a definite text in the Qur'an, Sunnah or Ijmaa' us-SaHaabah or it appeared that he judged in contradictory to a true reality. ")

where the ruling elite is subject to the rule of law,
Unless it doesn't feel like it because once you have been elected Caliph, you are there for life (Article 38) and, because you ARE the State (Article 35) and Leader of the Armed Forces (in which everyone serves - see Article 56) and appoint all officers down to Brigade level (article 61), exactly who is going to make you do anything that you might not exactly be minded to?

technology is embraced,

As long as it serves some sort of military purpose:
(Article 55: "All factories of whatever type should be established on the basis of the military policy")

minorities are treated as full citizens
Of all the sh*te in this letter, this is probably the biggest and most shameless lie. Leaving aside Article 21 ("Any party not established on the basis of Islam is prohibited."), I really don't fancy be a non-Muslim in the caliphate. Non-Muslims:
  • have no right to participate in the election of the Caliph (Article 26),
  • nor to be Caliph or his assistant (article 42) ,
  • nor to be part of his entourage (Article 49)
  • or indeed to have any ruling function whatsoever (articles 19, 87 etc etc)
  • may not be judges (article 69)
  • even when elected as representatives to the Assembly, may not influence the legislative process but can only express views regarding the misapplication of Islamic Law (article 103)
  • have no custody rights whatsoever in a marriage to a Muslim (article 118)
  • and are subject to a head tax for all these wonderful privileges (article 140)
Bagsy be a minority in your gang Imran.

as they were in the past
I thought this wasn't supposed to be a medieval throwback.

and where men and women embrace roles that give no superiority of one sex over the other.

Oh please. Following on from your idea that minorities are going to have a smashing time, let's look at what you think about the fairer sex.
Women:
  • are obliged to obey their husbands (article 116)
  • may not rule in any capacity nor be judges (article 112)
  • and may go about in public, only "on condition that nothing of the women's body is revealed, apart from her face and hands, and that the clothing is not revealing nor her charms displayed." (article 113)

Of course the caliphate is not built on the Western secular model,
You would be right there.
yet to dismiss it as some "centuries-old" medieval notion as Tony Blair recently did is an example of the disinformation expounded since 9/11.
You have the effrontery to accuse anyone - even Tony Blair - of expounding disinformation? Spare me.

10 comments:

james higham said...

I also did a bit of exploration of their text but this posted above is really quite chilling, isn't it? Makes one go all quiet like.

dc said...

Terrific job, well done.

Lopakhin said...

I attended a Hizb meeting in London recently and gave Imran Waheed a chance to disavow a document from the 1980s, 'The Islamic rules on hijacking planes', which was signed by them. Apparently, their organisation has changed since then (it split with Al Muhajiroun, for one thing), but he still didn't disavow it, despite the oft-repeated claim that they are a non-violent organisation. It's been published on Harry's Place in the past - it states that Israeli planes are a legitimate target. Probably worth following up on - I intend to do so myself.

Bag said...

Now come on. That bit about women obeying their husbands is spot on. Sounds like I'll be buying into the whole thing then just for that :)

The Pedant-General in Ordinary said...

James,

"Makes one go all quiet like"

I'm not sure I entirely agree. The very fact that a) such total nonsense is there for everyone to see and b) the representatives of this absurd organisation continue to broadcast such transparent lies should give us heart: they're such easy targets.

Lopakhin,

A very warm welcome to Infinitives Unsplit. Another excellent case in point. These chaps just seem to be completely clueless: if they can lie through their teeth here, why not do the same in response to your superbly lucid question?

One wonders why they make themselves to be such easy targets. Are we missing something?

Bag,

Ah, now there is a topic for a rant. Lady P-G having a constitutional obligation to obey her husband - there is a thought. Bagsy not be the one to break the news to her...

On a more serious note, and given that we are in the presence of greatness (well, Harry's Place reader's anyway), I ought to reiterate that I make no real comment on the desirability or otherwise of any of these things - it's just that the letter is not exactly consistent with the group's stated aims and that that needs to be pointed out.

....

OK he's a lying liar and they're all scumbags.

mqmpgjdu: Rather aposite this one... Interjection, vulgar. A mumbled suggestion that the object of your wrath in not quite telling the truth about their confessional persuasion.

Usage:
PG [blindfolded and tied to a chair]: Gaaah! I swear I'm telling the truth - I'm a very mild C of E communicant!

Member of (non-violent) HuT [straining to apply the thumb screws that bit harder]: mqmpgjdu!

Umbongo said...

P-G

"One wonders why they make themselves to be such easy targets. Are we missing something?"

Yes we are missing something. The fact is they don't care. They have their apologists and useful idiots in the most senior ranks of politics, the media and academe. They really believe they can achieve the Caliphate - and, do you know, looking around at what's happening to my country (well it used to be my country) I'm beginning to agree with them.

Anonymous said...

You joke (I hope!) but total control of women seems to be a big part of their "appeal".

Sperestillan said...

No worries, and not averse to a bit of pedantry myself when occasion demands, lol.

Lavengro in Spain said...

What is described as the caliphate here is strongly reminiscent of the Saudi Arabia that I lived in 25 years ago.

DavidP said...

Great stuff, Pedant. I've linked to you.