Lights Out In Britain Update: “PM shelves Islamic group ban,” by Jamie Doward and Gaby Hinsliff in The Guardian, with thanks to Twostellas:
The Prime Minister has been forced to shelve a central plank of his ‘war on terror’ strategy after opposition from senior police officers and the Home Office.
Plans to ban Hizb ut-Tahrir, the radical Islamic group, have been dropped in the past few days following intense discussions between Number 10 and legal advisers. Counter-terrorism sources said Tony Blair had been warned that banning the group, which campaigns for Britain to become a caliphate – a country subject to Islamic law – would serve only as a recruiting agent if the group appealed against the move.
The decision is a significant personal blow to Blair, who announced his intention to outlaw it shortly after the London bombings on 7 July, 2005, as part of a 12-point strategy to counter Islamic extremism.
On a trip to Pakistan last month, he is understood to have given personal assurances to President Pervez Musharraf that the ban would go ahead. Musharraf made clear to him that outlawing the group – banned in Pakistan since 2003 – must be a priority for Britain.
In the past couple of weeks Blair has held high-level discussions with police and counter-terrorism experts with a view to reviving plans to proscribe the group. But The Observer understands he has been persuaded it is impossible based on evidence collected so far.
The debate over Hizb ut-Tahrir’s right to operate in Britain comes as its influence is growing. The group has a presence in 40 countries. But it is banned in Germany, Russia, the Netherlands, Sudan and in almost every Arab country.
Last month a BBC investigation claimed to expose its methods to radicalise young British Muslims. It reported that in Croydon, south London, Hizb ut-Tahrir encouraged an undercover researcher posing as a recruit to commit crimes to ‘prove his loyalty’. Hizb ut-Tahrir has denied this and said it intends to sue the BBC.
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