Why HT should be suppressed, according to Shiraz Maher

“There is a real danger with allowing the group to operate freely. Although it subscribes to a non-violent philosophy, on occasion its words may have inspired terrorist activity.”

Shiraz Maher in the Times, 15 January 2010

This comment piece accompanies the report “Senior member of extreme Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir teaches at LSE“. The reference is to Reza Pankhurst, who is a research student and graduate teaching assistant at the London School of Economics.

The shock-horror impact of the report is rather undermined by the revelation that HT “states on its website that its ‘political aim is the re-establishment of the Islamic Caliphate as an independent state’. It says that it rejects forcing change ‘by means of violence and terror’.” Not to mention the quote from an LSE spokesperson regarding Mr Pankhurst: “No concerns about his conduct have been raised with the school and we are not aware that he is a member of any proscribed organisation or has broken any laws or LSE regulations.”

The Evening Standard, for its part, weighs in with an article headlined “LSE’s Islamist teacher ‘groomed suicide bomber for Tel Aviv attack’” – an accusation for which it provides no evidence whatsoever.

Update:  See “Standard and Mail pay damages over suicide bomber slur”, Press Gazette, 28 July 2010