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Hizb ut-Tahrir in Canada: Providing the Mood Music to Which the Suicide Bombers Dance

What may be Canada’s fastest growing Islamist group believes that all Canadian soldiers are war criminals.1  The perceived leader of the Canadian arm of the group says publicly that Muslims should not vote in elections unless they are voting for Sharia Law.  Hizb ut-Tahrir is able to grow as it has a fluid organizational system and receives considerable practical support from government officials such as the Mayor of Mississauga and the City of Hamilton.

The Canadian public frequently questions why Canada has produced a growing stream of suicide bombers, martyrs, ISIS propagandists and a string of jihadist fighters for a variety of Islamist causes.  One reason, and perhaps the primary one, is that Canada has a series of Islamist extremist groups that create the necessary social, political and cultural space for an extremist ideology to blossom into political violence; that is to say terrorism.

Maajid Nawaz is a former disciple of Hizb ut-Tahrir in the UK and Pakistan. He formerly worked as a recruiter and organizer for that group.2  He is now the founder and head of the world’s premier de-radicalization group, the Quilliam Foundation in London, UK.3  He explains the ideology and actions of Hizb ut-Tahrir in this manner:  “Although we did not advocate jihadism in any of our teachings, we set a number of students on this path through our politics.”4

The Quilliam Foundation also has this current view of Hizb ut-Tahrir:  “Non-violent Islamists can champion this narrative, providing the mood music to which suicide bombers dance.”5

Elsewhere, the Quilliam Foundation states that those, such as Hizb ut-Tahrir, “continue to advocate separatist, confrontational ideas that, followed to their logical conclusion, lead to violence.”6

The public discussion in Canada around this group, which believes in violent jihad, has been limited.  It is worth examining a few of their basic beliefs, as expressed in their own writings.

Hizb ut-Tahrir was formed in Jerusalem (al-Quds) in 19527 as a spinoff of the Muslim Brotherhood, itself founded in 1928.  Hizb ut-Tahrir is a global Islamist organization which has the intent to resume an Islamist way of life with the construction of a caliphate. They believe they should extend this call to the entire world.  They also advocate that the end goal is the Islamization of Canada as part of this global caliphate.8

Article 62 of the Hizb ut-Tahrir Constitution also calls for compulsory conscription in their sought after caliphate.  It states that every Muslim male who is “fifteen years and over, is obliged to undergo military training in readiness for jihad.”9

The definition of Jihad is also quite clear for Hizb ut-Tahrir. “The meaning of Jihad being a duty of sufficiency is that we initiate the fighting of the enemy even if he did not attack us. If the Muslims failed to initiate the fighting at any given time, they would all be sinful.”10 It should be noted that Hizb ut-Tahrir believes that defensive jihad is a falsehood.11

The leader of Hizb ut-Tahrir in the USA, Dr. Mohammed Malkawi, made his views on the role of Hizb ut-Tahrir clear at a conference in Jordan: “Let Britain, America, and the entire West go to hell, because the Caliphate is coming, Allah willing.”12

The leader of Hizb ut-Tahrir in Canada appears to be Mazin Abdul-Adhim, a Canadian citizen of Iraqi descent living in London, Ontario, a hotbed of Islamist views.  He was originally recruited by Maajid Nawaz (now at the Quilliam Foundation) into Hizb ut-Tahrir while they were both in London, UK.  As the perceived leading ‘Imam’ of Hizb ut-Tahrir in Canada, it was Abdul-Adhim who openly stated, “No Muslim should honour the memory of those war criminals by wearing a poppy, just as no one would honour a criminal that killed his or her mother and father.”13

Unlike other extremist groups operating in Canada14 such as the Muslim Brotherhood, the Khomeneists and those funded by Wahhabi money, Hizb ut-Tahrir prefers to operate with limited physical infrastructure.  There are no mosques, no student front groups, no federally registered charities and no signs (yet) of political Entryism.  Hizb ut-Tahrir prefers to use, borrow or rent the physical premises of other sympathetic organizations or use taxpayer-funded premises such as the Living Arts Centre in the City of Mississauga. One wonders if a review of booking the facility would reveal usage by agents such as Tamil Tigers, MS13 or the IRA, or other well-accepted terrorist groups?

The Mayor and City Council of Mississauga are aware of the nature of Hizb ut-Tahrir, having been repeatedly informed by a variety of sources about the nature of this group.15  Like many government officials, however, Mississauga prefers to submit to, rather than challenge, the beliefs of groups such as Hizb ut-Tahrir.  The 2015 conference of Hizb ut-Tahrir was held in Mississauga. Their poster for the event stated:

Make sure you attend the annual Hizb ut Tahrir Rajab conference this year in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. It takes place on May 23rd (8 days from today) at the Living Arts Centre, from 3:00pm to 5:00pm. “In preparation of the real Khilafah (Caliphate), which will be on the footsteps of Prophethood inshaAllah, the agenda driven media has turned up the rhetoric against the Khilafah and the systems of Islam. What can we do about this? We, as an Ummah, must take ownership of the future Khilafah and take an active role in refuting this propaganda. We must talk to our families, neighbours, colleagues, and friends, to make them aware of what a real Khilafah looks like. Join us on May 23rd to get the necessary knowledge to take an active role in the re-establishment of the Khilafah.16

Hizb ut-Tahrir does not operate in isolation and it is willing to cooperate with other Islamist groups.  For instance, at a recent conference in Mississauga, a guest speaker was the principal of the Islamic Society of North America High School of Mississauga, Abdul–Aziz Rasoul.17  The ISNA high school received millions in funding from Saudi/Wahhabis sources.18  Its parent organization, ISNA, also lost its federally registered charity status for its “Development Fund” when it was caught funding a terrorist group.19

Previous conferences for Hizb ut-Tahrir have included, but are not limited to:

2009 – This annual conference was part of the Hizb ut-Tahrir global initiative campaign and was entitled “The 2009 Caliphate Campaign.” It was held at the City of Mississauga owned and operated Mississauga Valley Community Center.

2012 – On September 22, 2012, Hizb ut-Tahrir organized a conference entitled “Working with the Ummah to resume the Islamic way of life.” The topic covered issues such as the Muslim Community and its obligation to defend the honour of Rasul Allah (The Prophet Mohammed). The conference was held at the ISNA Masjid, 2200 South Sheridan Way, Mississauga, Ontario.

2013 – On June 29,  2013, Hizb ut-Tahrir organized a conference at the Living Arts Centre in the City of Mississauga. It was entitled “Living under the Shade of Sharia.”

2015 – On November 28, 2015, an event was held at the Mohawk Residence and Conference Centre (245 Fennel Ave. West, Hamilton, Ontario) for discussing the crisis in Syria and in support of the establishment of the Islamic State – the Caliphate.20

Following the Paris attacks of November 2015, Mayor Crombie of Mississauga condemned attacks by ISIS, but stated that it had nothing to do with religion.  One of her comments was: “To try to understand their motives is futile because their motives are pure and unmitigated evil. These criminals are not motivated by any recognizable religion, but by a perverse view of the world. This is not religion.”21

Mississauga is one of the most heavily radicalized cities in Canada, with a large presence of a variety of Islamist groups dedicated to destroying Canadian democracy.  It is also one of the Canadian cities most likely to be struck in the event of an ISIS-inspired attack.22

Conclusion

Hizb ut-Tahrir, like many other Islamist groups, can be considered an extremist group as it openly advocates policies that run directly contrary to the Canadian Constitution and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  It is openly anti-democratic, anti-feminist and pro-Sharia.  Yet Canadian politicians regularly find a way to submit themselves to the will of such groups.  It is unclear if the politicians involved are incredibility naive, simple minded or perhaps knowledgeable, but find it easier to go along with them and not rock the boat based on the mythical belief in “community balance.”  Whatever the case, Islamist groups continue to grow in Canada while the lessons of the UK, France and Belgium remain lost on the majority of Canadians and their political class.

Meanwhile, the mood music for the suicide bombers and other extremists continues to play. Responsibility and accountability appear to still lie in the future.

 

References


  1. Standing Committee on Public Safety, 24 March 2015, https://openparliament.ca/committees/public-safety/41-2/58/tahir-gora-1/only/
  2. A chilling return to the land where once I sowed hate, Sunday 21 June 2009 00.01 BST, The Guardian. See the article online at http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2009/jun/21/hizb-ut-tahrir-pakistan-islamism
  3. http://www.quilliamfoundation.org/about/staff/maajid-nawaz/
  4. For more on this see the book by Maajid Nawaz.  Radical My Journey Out Of Islamist Extremism, Lyons Press; Oct. 15 2013, Chapter 15.
  5. Quilliam Foundation, Frequently Asked Questions.  This article is available online at http://www.quilliamfoundation.org/about/faqs/
  6. This is a quote from Pulling Together to Defeat Terror, Quilliam Foundation, 2008.  This article can be seen online at http://www.quilliamfoundation.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/publications/free/pulling-together-to-defeat-terror.pdf
  7. http://english.hizbuttahrir.org/index.php/about/about-us 
  8. http://jonathanhalevi.blogspot.ca/2013/08/the-endgoal-is-islamization-of-canadian.html

  9. A Draft Constitution of the Khilafah State, Published on 18th January 2013, written by Hizb ut-Tahrir http://www.khilafah.com/a-draft-constitution-of-the-khilafah-state/
  10. http://english.hizbuttahrir.org/images/pdfs/JihadinIslam2.pdf
  11. http://e`nglish.hizbuttahrir.org/images/pdfs/JihadinIslam2.pdf
  12. Dr. Mohammed Malkawi, U.S. Professor and Founder of Hizb Al-Tahrir in Chicago: Let Britain, America, and The Entire West Go To Hell, Because The Caliphate Is Coming, Allah Willing, July 2013.  The article can be seen online at http://www.memri.org/report/en/print7288.htm
  13. https://openparliament.ca/committees/public-safety/41-2/58/tahir-gora-1/only/
  14. Who Runs Canada’s Extremist Networks? http://tsecnetwork.ca/2015/09/24/who-runs-canadas-extremist-recruiting-networks/
  15. The Mayor of Mississauga and all of the councillors were emailed by the author concerning the activities of the Hizb ut Tahrir.  The Mayor and councillors were also informed by a former councillor from the area.  None of them have ever acknowledged receipt of the emails or the articles published about them.  See the articles at http://tsecnetwork.ca/2015/09/29/operating-with-impunity-extremism-in-mississauga/ , http://tsecnetwork.ca/2015/09/23/city-of-mississauga-hosts-extremist-event-calling-for-compulsory-jihad-and-support-of-the-caliphate/ and http://tsecnetwork.ca/2015/09/27/the-city-of-mississauga-extremism-problem-isna-and-hizb-ut-tahrir/
  16. For more sources and details on the conference see http://tsecnetwork.ca/2015/09/23/city-of-mississauga-hosts-extremist-event-calling-for-compulsory-jihad-and-support-of-the-caliphate/ .

  17. For more sources and details on the conference and the ISNA high school principle see http://tsecnetwork.ca/2015/09/27/the-city-of-mississauga-extremism-problem-isna-and-hizb-ut-tahrir/
  18. For more on the issues of Saudi funding for the ISNA and its high school, see the Globe and Mail article at http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/values-at-heart-of-islamic-tensions/article989709/?page=all
  19. For more on the funding of terrorism by the ISNA, see the Government of Canada statement at http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?nid=773409

  20. For more background on this conference see http://en.cijnews.com/?p=18516
  21. More information about these comments can be seen on the Mayor’s own website at http://www.mayorcrombie.ca/mayor-crombie-remarks-during-vigil-service/
  22. For more on why Montreal, Mississauga and Calgary are the most likely cities to suffer an ISIS-inspired attack, see http://tsecnetwork.ca/2015/11/20/is-an-isis-inspired-attack-possible-in-canada-questions-and-answers/
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Tom Quiggin
Tom Quiggin, M.A, C.D., has 30 years of practical experience in security and intelligence matters. He is qualified as a court expert in the reliability of intelligence as evidence and on terrorism (Criminal and Federal Court). His years of practical experience include a variety of intelligence positions for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Canadian Armed Forces, the United Nations Protection Force in Yugoslavia, Citizen and Immigration Canada (War Crimes), the International War Crimes Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the Privy Council Office of Canada and the Bank of Canada. He was also a Senior Fellow at the Centre of Excellence for National Security at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore. He was also a qualified arms control inspector for the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty and the Vienna Document. He holds a Masters Degree in International Relations. In addition to his sole author book, Seeing the Invisible: National Security Intelligence in an Uncertain Age, Tom has a number of other publications on security and terrorism matters in Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Singapore, the UK, and the USA.