Followers of the fundamentalist group Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT) have called for a “bloodless military coup” in Islamabad and the creation of the caliphate in which strict Islamic laws would be rigorously enforced.
Members of the group, which describes itself as the Liberation party in Britain but is banned in Pakistan, revealed last week that it had targeted the country as a base from which to spread Islamic rule across the world.
The Sunday Times has obtained the names of a dozen British Hizb ut-Tahrir activists based in Lahore and Karachi, or commuting between Britain and Pakistan. There are believed to be many more.
Tayyib Muqeem, an English teacher from Stoke-on-Trent, said he had moved to Lahore to convert Pakistanis to the movement.
At Lahore’s Superior College, where Muqeem has set up a Hizb ut-Tahrir student group, he said the organisation’s aim was to subject Muslim and western countries to Islamic rule under sharia law, “by force” if necessary.
In a caliphate, “every woman would have to cover up” and stoning to death for adultery and the chopping off of thieves’ hands would be the law, he said.
He added that Islamic rule would be spread through “indoctrination” and by “military means” if non-Muslim countries refused to bow to it. “Waging war” would be part of the caliphate’s foreign policy.
One of Hizb ut-Tahrir’s strategies in Pakistan is to influence military officers, he revealed.
Shahzad Sheikh, a Pakistani recruit and the group’s official spokesman in Karachi, talked openly about persuading the army to instigate a “bloodless coup” against the present government who, he said, were “worse than the Taliban”.
“It is the military who hold the power (in Pakistan) and we are asking them to give their allegiance to Hizb ut-Tahrir,” he said. “I can’t explain to you in detail how we are trying to influence the military . . . We never disclose our methodology of change. You may say it’s a coup.”
Hizb ut-Tahrir (Arabic: حِزْبُ التَحْرِير; English: Party of Liberation) is an international pan-Islamist, Sunni, vanguard political party whose goal is to combine all Muslim countries in a unitary Islamic state or caliphate, ruled by Islamic law and with a caliph head of state elected by Muslims.
HT is not designated as a terrorist organization in the United States, however many consider it to be a stepping stone to more militant organizations.
GlobalSecurity.org - Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami
Jamestown - Hizb-ut-Tahrir's Activities in the United States
Official Hizb ut-Tahrir website (English)