By Sami Quadri and Glen Keogh
29 September 2018
An extreme Islamist group banned in more
than a dozen countries is using children as young as 13 to peddle books
supporting suicide bombing and jihad in Britain.
Hizb ut-Tahrir, which wants to establish an
Islamic state with Sharia law, has been holding a series of ‘roadshows’ across
An undercover reporter who attended a
number of the meetings was sold books suggesting suicide strikes are
acceptable, and others saying jihad was ‘compulsory’ to spread the message of
The group allowed a 13-year-old to sell
pamphlets comparing Westerners to animals over their ‘filthy promiscuity’ and
urging followers to shun British culture.
The reporter also saw children as young as
ten bowing their heads in prayer and reading from the Quran at meetings –
despite Hizb ut-Tahrir’s claim only over-16s can ‘engage’ in its work.
Last night the Government’s new
anti-extremism tsar Sara Khan told of her fears that the ‘Islamist extremists’
were recruiting children and students to help spread ‘supremacist ideology’.
Terrorism experts also called on the
Government to ban the group for ‘radicalising children’ and spreading the
ideology of Islamic State ‘into the heart of England’.
The Daily Mail investigation also found:
A member boasted of having active
recruiters at universities including Oxford, University College London and the
School of Oriental and African Studies – despite the group being banned from
speaking on campuses;
A separate Hizb
ut-Tahrir speaker said ‘we need to try to change’ homosexuals;
warned that women will be punished for leaving home ‘uncovered’;
believe ‘jihad’ should be waged against Israel, back Labour leader Jeremy
Corbyn for ‘saying it how it is’ amid the party’s anti-Semitism crisis.
prime ministers have tried to ban Hizb ut-Tahrir. But despite being outlawed in
Pakistan, Russia and most Arab countries, it remains legal here.
reporter attended several of the group’s events in the past five months in
locations ranging from East London to Bradford and Rochdale.
They were sold
five extremist booklets for £2 by a boy of around 13 running a stall at the
Fairweather Event Hall in Bradford.
‘Stand For Islam’, contained a verse discussing suicide bombing and criticising
the West for focusing on the acts.
But the passage went on to justify the
attacks, saying: ‘Whilst Islam is categorical in the prohibition of committing
suicide and taking innocent life, this does not entail that Islam … expects
Muslims to accept the occupation of their lands and the desecration of their
beliefs, values and dignity.’
Another book being peddled was called
‘Democracy is a System of Kufr’ – a derogatory term for non-believers.
It said: ‘It is obligatory on the Muslims
to completely discard democracy. It is filth.’
The book goes on to disparage homosexuality
before claiming that ‘sex with all animals’ is increasing in the West. At the
same event, a child of similar age was pulled before a crowd of around 30 and
read from the Quran.
Later Hizb ut-Tahrir follower Dr Mohammed
Zahid, who has lectured at Newcastle and Durham universities, described the
group’s continuing influence on campuses – despite being ‘no-platformed’ by the
National Union of Students.
Dr Zahid said: ‘We are active on campuses,
just not as much as we used to be. Just a few years ago we had a number of
brothers at the University of Manchester.
‘Any political party, to survive, you need
recruitment … we have brothers on the UCL campus, SOAS, Oxford, they’re there.’
Hizb ut-Tahrir wants to establish an
Islamic state stretching from north Africa to the Philippines and has produced
articles promoting martyrdom in Israel. When our reporter asked one member,
Mazhar Khan, about the anti-Semitism row in the Labour Party, he defended
He said: ‘When you say it how it is people
just don’t like it. And he’s the only one saying it as it is. That’s why even
his own party is turning against him.’
Sara Khan, who leads the Government’s newly
created Commission for Countering Extremism, told of her concern over the
Mail’s findings last night.
She said: ‘Hizb ut-Tahrir are Islamist
extremists who have been actively recruiting young people and spreading their
supremacist ideology for decades.
‘It is concerning that, despite their
no-platforming by the NUS, they are still very much active on campus but also
in communities, recruiting children and students.
‘Non-violent extremism threatens the rights
of others. I am undertaking a wide-ranging study into all forms of extremism to
help us all do more to counter extremism.’
Security and terrorism experts called for
action to stop Hizb ut-Tahrir ‘brainwashing’ youngsters.
Professor Anthony Glees, of the University
of Buckingham, said: ‘They are radicalising children who should know nothing of
the awful world which Islamic extremism promotes.
‘It is as if we are imparting the ideology
of the so-called Islamic State into the heart of England.’
Hizb ut-Tahrir spokesman Yahya Nisbet said
the group did not wish to overthrow British democracy.
He added: ‘Any suggestion that Hizb
ut-Tahrir encourages any form of violence against ordinary British citizens is
a baseless lie.’
Of the claims children were involved in
selling books, he said: ‘Young people are welcome to participate in our public
events – however, it is not our policy to permit this kind of administrative
‘I will be bringing this to the attention
of those responsible.’
Mr Khan said he ‘did not recognise the
views attributed to him’, but a spokesman for the group added: ‘Hizb
ut-Tahrir’s view on the illegal occupation of Palestine by Zionists is well