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Media Office
Australia

H.  3 Rajab 1432 No: 011/11
M.  Sunday, 05 June 2011

Media Release
Russell Trood and Julie Bishop Peddle Lies about Hizb ut Tahrir

Senator Russell Trood alleged last week, during a Senate estimates hearing on legal and constitutional affairs, that Hizb ut Tahrir advocated the use of violence as a legitimate means of political expression. He referred to Hizb ut Tahrir's views as ‘unsavoury' and ‘obnoxious' and alleged that it had called for the destruction of Hindus in Kashmir, Russians in Chechnya and Jews in Israel, and that it ‘incite[s] violence against particular members of the community' (25/05/2011; http://bit.ly/kmG3Hs, p.93).

 Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Julie Bishop, followed this up this week with the allegation that Hizb ut Tahrir is an anti-Semitic group ‘which has called for the slaughter of Jewish people' (http://bit.ly/lWVWTR).

 In response to these accusations, Hizb ut Tahrir in Australia states clearly, for the public record, the following:

 1. It is well-known that Hizb ut Tahrir is a political party that works to re-establish the Caliphate in the Muslim World through exclusively intellectual and political means.

 2. The assertion that Hizb ut Tahrir has called for the slaughter of Jewish people is an outright fabrication. It is no more than a slanderous accusation, which the Leader of the Opposition, Tony Abbot, also made in March 2011. Our challenge for him at the time to substantiate the claim has gone unfulfilled, and now his deputy has regurgitated the same allegation, without presenting any evidence whatsoever.

 3. Hizb ut Tahrir's criticisms, locally and globally, have been in relation to ‘Israel' in particular, not Jews in general. In relation to ‘Israel', we maintain that it is an illegitimate state built on the killing and forced expulsion of the people of Palestine. Islam and Muslims globally are in conflict with ‘Israelis' not in their capacity as Jews but in their capacity as occupiers and aggressors. No amount of lies or political intimidation will force us, or Muslims at large, to abandon this position.

 4. The charge of ‘anti-Semitism' is an old and tired way of deflecting criticism of ‘Israel'. The actual ‘unsavoury' truth is that anti-Semitism is of European birth and breed. Senator Trood and Julie Bishop need to refresh their history. Europe's treatment of Jews is represented in the history books by the ovens of deaths they were greeted with in the Spanish Inquisition and in Nazi Germany. In sharp contrast, Jews were welcomed and treated justly in Muslim Spain and under the Ottoman Caliphate.

 5. Senator Trood should know better than to source the trash journalism of tabloid papers - and that in a Senate hearing! - as evidence for serious allegations against others. He should also know that the common link between Kashmir, Chechnya and ‘Israel' is that they all represent occupied land, unjustly invaded by a foreign aggressor. Thus what Hizb ut Tahrir has, unashamedly, called for, and will continue to call for, is the reversal of unjust occupations. The correct way of dealing with military occupations is to resist militarily.

 6. Conflating between the advocacy of occupied peoples' right to resist and the use of violence as a means of political expression is cheap expedience on the part of Senator Trood and Julie Bishop. Further, the charge of advocating violence as legitimate means of political expression is a bit rich coming from those who support Australia's violent intervention in Afghanistan, who supported its violent intervention in Iraq, and who consistently justify the violence of ‘Israel', such as its brutal attack on Gaza in 2009.

7. Senator's Trood remarks came in the context of his probing the head of ASIO, David Irvine, as to why members of Hizb ut-Tahrir in Britain had been allowed to come into Australia and partake in Hizb ut Tahrir's conference in Australia in July 2010. This represents the new low Australian policymakers have fallen too. The rhetoric of ‘freedom of speech' and ‘democracy' is only matched by actions that seek to suppress views they disagree with.

 We draw Mr. Trood's attention, and the attention of all parties that take issue with our views, to our major conference for 2011 (http://uprisings2011.com/) that will take place next month, and is open to all members of the public, media and politicians. Any true statesman engages ideas they disagree with. Demonisation and sensationalism is the job of the intellectually bankrupt.

 8. It is noteworthy that the attack of Australian politicians against Hizb ut Tahrir follows similar rhetoric against Hizb ut Tahrir in the UK, propagated as high up in the British Establishment as by the likes of the Prime Minister, David Cameron. Is this a case of Australian policymakers still looking to the colonial motherland for guidance on policy? Or worse still, are Australian officials taking orders from their UK counterparts? Perhaps this is what David Irvine meant when he said, ‘we do cooperate closely with allied agencies' referring to British intelligence agencies?

 9. As for ‘obnoxious' views, the obnoxious views in reality are those which justify the invasion of land and the wholesale expulsion of innocent people from their homes, as in the case of ‘Israel'. The obnoxious views are those which justify war against a nation based on a lie - a war that resulted in the killing of hundreds of thousands of innocent souls, as in Iraq. The obnoxious views are those which justify the sacrifice of the lives of Australian soldiers and Afghan civilians for the consolidation of American economic and political interests, as in the war on Afghanistan.

Hizb-ut Tahrir: Media office
Australia
Address & Website
Tel: 0438 000 465
www.hizb-australia.org
E-Mail:  media@hizb-australia.org

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