BBCUrdu on Hizb ut-Tahrir in Pakistan

February 28, 2007

BBC Urdu continues its tradition of reporting in ways it seems unlikely the head office would approve of. Apparently some HT brat gave a PowerPoint demo (I’d like to think they don’t use free software) at the Press Club in Peshawar and the Beeb’s correspondent offered a nice little summary under the title “خلافت کی بحالی ہی واحد حل ہے”.
The tone is roughly the same as that used to cover Toyota’s opening a plant in Mississippi. The reporter matter-of-factly repeats what the spokesman said about the problems of democracy, and what khilafat has to offer. Either the presenter or the reporter was almost exclusively interested in the khilafat-as-dictatorship angle. An HT khalifa wouldn’t have to worry about appeasing the popular will or regional powers, so he could be more effective. Somehow this also allows for more public accountability through a special court for hearing charges against the government. Even a good democratic ruler can’t hang on for more than five years, they say. I guess it’s understandable that this sort of appeal might work in Pakistan. (Even the BBC’s charterer might sympathize with parts of the reasoning.
Hizb ut-Tahrir was founded by the grandson of the great saint and scholar Imam Yusuf al-Nabhani – may Allah fill his grave with light and protect him and us from this fitna. It is perhaps the ultimate example of “wali ke pet mein shaytan.” (A saint giving birth to a devil.) While it began in Palestine and has roots throughout the Arab world, in recent decades it’s been mainly a British campus phenomenon. The US has been thankfully free of the organization itself – though there influence has been trickling in, largely through the web.
Apparently neither Pakistan nor the UK have been successful in banning HT, though bot have tried. HT has been relatively non-existent in South Asia, even though many of the UK members of this foul cult are of Indian and Pakistani descent. I’m surprised, though, to read about a meeting like this. And shocked by the BBC basically reprinting the press release without giving any background at all.* Although, a BBC-HT connection is not unprecedented. Wikipedia notes:

Mohammed M. Ramadan, a journalist and announcer at the BBC’s Arabic section in London, was a member of Hizb ut-Tahrir and opposed to the regime of Colonel Qadhafi of Libya. He was assassinated on 11 April 1980 by Libyan operatives outside London’s Regents Park Mosque

“Nation shall speak peace unto Nation”

*The author, BBC Peshawar correspondent Harun Rashid often gives some background, even to unnecessary levels. Which makes this either a slip, or suspicious. That said, his job can not be an easy one.

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