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Hizb ut-Tahrir, CAGE International and Extremism in the UK: What’s next?

Hizb ut-Tahrir, CAGE International and Extremism in the UK: What’s next?

Hizb ut-Tahrir, an Islamist terror organization, has recently made headlines with revelations surrounding Dr. Wahid Asif Shaida, a British GP, who has been suspended by the NHS due to his role as the UK head of the group. Despite this suspension, Dr. Shaida still retains his medical license and remains registered with the General Medical Council (GMC). His suspension comes in the wake of the Home Office's proscription of Hizb ut-Tahrir, which carries severe penalties for its supporters. Dr. Shaida, who chaired the organization while practicing as a family doctor in Harrow for over two decades, faced scrutiny for his dual roles and controversial activities, including justifying violence and advocating for jihad. The case underscores challenges in safeguarding patient care and the need for robust measures to address extremism within the healthcare sector.

Hizb ut-Tahrir, is planning a legal fight to contest the recent government decision outlawing the organization. Despite facing criminal penalties for supporting or affiliating with the group, Hizb ut- Tahrir is strategizing to overturn the ban, recruiting professionals, including lawyers, for their legal battle. Hizb ut-Tahrir’s British website currently has a statement saying: “The British Government proscribed Hizb ut-Tahrir on 19 January 2024. A legal challenge is proceeding.”

In seeking to reverse the ban, the initial support for Hizb ut-Tahrir comes from CAGE International. CAGE, a London-based advocacy group, has been embroiled in significant controversy over various issues. CAGE, founded in October 2003, is an advocacy organization previously known as Cageprisoners. It initially focused on providing support for detainees held without trial as part of the War on Terror, particularly Muslim detainees at Guantanamo Bay. In addition to its support for detainees, CAGE has also backed convicted terrorists and jihadist ideologues, drawing criticism for its associations and activities. It appears that CAGE's advocacy for Hizb ut-Tahrir aligns with its usual clientele, but the UK should be wary and monitor CAGE with the same level of concern as Hizb ut-Tahrir.

CAGE, has faced criticism for its statements regarding the role of British security services MI5 in the radicalization of Mohammed Emwazi, also known as 'Jihadi John' the infamous ISIS executioner. An external review found that CAGE failed to clearly distance itself from Emwazi's actions and did not acknowledge the suffering of his victims' families. Additionally, CAGE opposes UK counter-terrorism measures, claiming they criminalize Islamic thought and practice, despite data suggesting otherwise. Additionally, the group has been criticized for its fundraising events featuring speakers from Muslim groups and extremist organizations. These events often assert that British Muslims and Islamic beliefs are under attack from the government.

The organization's stance is that the government's accusations against Hizb ut-Tahrir lack credibility. They question why Hizb ut-Tahrir is being targeted under terrorism laws, emphasizing the absence of a direct link between their beliefs and any violence in London or elsewhere. These claims are outlined on their website, including a section titled "What Role Can I Play Now?" which encourages individuals to continue standing by Islamic principles, speak out against the proscription, and advocate for deproscription.

CAGE's decision to challenge the proscription demonstrates a disregard for authority. What's particularly alarming is that not only was the former international director of CAGE, Muhammad Rabbani, found guilty in 2017 of obstructing police at Heathrow Airport by refusing to provide the passwords to his electronic devices, but the current Director of CAGE, Dr. Adnan Siddiqui, faced questioning from MPs regarding statements made by the organisation. These statements, suggested that suicide bombings could be deemed "a price worth paying" in certain scenarios. Adding to the complexity of the situation, Dr. Adnan Siddiqui is not only the Director of Cage, but he also holds a position as a full-time NHS GP at Leander Family Practice in Surrey and a tutor at King's College.

In 2016, CAGE attempted to host an event at Chobham Academy in London, using a football tournament as a cover. The school was unaware of the nature of the event until the police intervened two days prior. Scheduled speakers included individuals from Hizb ut-Tahrir, topics included stoning, female genital mutilation and Sharia Law. The event was moved to a commercial

venue, where controversial speeches were made. When an audience member asked why the venue had been changed, Dr. Adnan Siddiqui replied: ‘Ask Prevent,’ in reference to the Government’s anti-radicalisation policy. He then added, ‘Because of British values.’. Dr. Adnan Siddiqui continued his speech and told the audience to ‘stand up and fight here, this is where your fight is’. During the the event, Abdul Wahid also known as Dr. Wahid Asif Shaida, Hizb ut- Tahrir’s UK head, said: ‘I’ve never defined myself as a British citizen before I was a practising Muslim and I don’t ever define myself as a British Muslim, I define myself as a Muslim.’ Wahid expressed his identity as a Muslim rather than a British citizen, indicating a prioritisation of religious allegiance over national identity.

This recurring theme is becoming increasingly familiar, both Hizb ut-Tahrir and CAGE International are led by directors who are NHS GP's. While Hizb ut-Tahrir has already been labelled a terrorist organization, CAGE International is actively advocating for its defence against proscription. This case presents the complex reality British society encounters when confronting extremist groups. Both organisations have come under scrutiny for their affiliations with extremism, the primary distinction lies in the official proscription of one. and-what-can-you-do peddling-lies-to-British-Muslims-to-turn-them-into-supporters-of-terror.html price-worth-paying.html tried-use-football-tournament-cover-planned-meeting-staff-no-idea-police-raised-alarm.html

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