Hizb Ut-Tahrir at Turkish Embassy

I first met Hizb Ut-Tahrir in 2004 and have photographed a number of their protests since then. There are often some at them who are not very happy about being photographed, though mainly it is a few men who are unhappy about the women on their protests being photographed. Of course they have staged women’s protests – such as one at the French embassy in 2010, but at most the women are relegated to an area well away from the speakers. At least at this one there were powerful speakers so they could hear what was going on, but at least while I was there, no women spoke.

The organisation was started in 1953 in Jerusalem by a Sunni Muslim scholar and aims to restore the Khilafah Rashidah, the “Rightly Guided” rule of the four caliphs who succeeded the Prophet in a 30 year reign when Muslim armies conquered much of the Middle East. They would sweep away the more recently created states such as Turkey which they accuse of complicity in handing Syria back to Assad in accordance with colonial interests.

While many Turks and Kurds condemn Erdogan as a dictator who is increasingly moving the country toward an Islamic regime, they condemn him as a secular leader, and in particular for his strengthening Turkish military and economic ties with Israel – which they do not recognise. The protest called on all Muslims to support the brave people of Palestine who “are raising their voices to speak out and protest against the illegal occupation, as they are mercilessly killed by the Zionist regime.”

Hizb Ut-Tahrir is banned in many countries, including, according to Wikipedeia, “Germany, Russia, China, Egypt, Turkey, and all Arab countries except in Lebanon, Yemen, and UAE.”
There were moves to ban it in the UK after the London bombings and again around the 2010 election but it remains legal here as there is little if any evidence of them being actively involved in any terrorist activities here. The organisation was given a huge boost by the invasion of Iraq in 2003 but numbers of supporters have declined in recent years.

More at Hizb Ut-Tahrir protest against Turkey.


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