This is a guest post by Shiraz Maher
Last October I made a film for Panorama, the BBC’s flagship investigative documentary strand, about my experiences inside the Islamist group Hizb ut Tahrir. In the half-hour report I explained my concerns about the group which included fears that it creates the moral imperatives and intellectual climate needed for terrorism to thrive. It does this by preaching hatred of non-Muslims, promoting jihadist causes abroad and championing the revival of a territorially expansionist Islamic State.
As expected, shortly after we broadcast, a verbose complaint from Hizb ut Tahrir’s officious ‘media spokesman’ Dr. Imran Waheed arrived at Panorama’s offices. The thrust of his seven page whinge centred on the notion that Hizb ut Tahrir had been ‘treated unfairly.’ Page 56 of the Ofcom report lists a summary of his complaint.
Waheed tries to score a number of technical victories against the programme (none of which succeeded) arguing that we had not given them enough time to respond to our allegations and that the juxtaposition of various sequences in the film had been unfair.
Here’s where HT have given the game away.
The allegations which they challenged were all peripheral to the central narrative of my piece. They couldn’t challenge any of the main points which included:
- The global leader of HuT sent a letter to the Indonesian conference (which I attended) making anti-Semitic remarks and calling for the destruction of Israel. They did not dispute that they called Israel an “illegal” state.
- That members of HuT made death threats along with fake and malicious internet postings aimed at slandering former members. In my case, my parents’ home address was also posted on the internet. HuT did not challenge this because the IP addresses we have reveal who was doing it, leading a trail to the home and work place of a senior HuT member who has served on its national executive.
- HuT did not challenge that it tells young Muslims not to integrate into Britain, forcing them to choose whether they are British or Muslim.
- HuT did not challenge my statement that they want “Shariah law imposed over the whole world – by force if necessary.”
Sometimes silence is golden.