The Khilafah of al-Nabhani


Hizb ut-Tahrir demonstration in Copenhagen.  By: EPO (Own work). Source: Wikimedia Commons

Hizb ut-Tahrir demonstration in Copenhagen.
By: EPO (Own work).
Source: Wikimedia Commons

In 2011, Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir posted a graphic on their website that reads:

“The Khilafah is a state for all people, Muslim and Non-Muslim, to live under the system ordained for them by their Creator, where the leader is chosen by them and accounted by them, and no man, ruler, or ruled is above the divine law that was sent to establish the truth, uphold divine justice, and spread the message of Islam to the World. The rights of all are secured, their needs satisfied and their dreams pursued. It is a state where women are honoured, the weak and vulnerable protected, wealth is circulated throughout society, not only among the rich, and where people live in harmony with themselves, their family, their neighbours, community, society, environment and their Lord.”

– Naturally, I take issue with this entire paragraph. Not least because the phrase “their creator” is meaningless to me, what with being atheist. And so the entire political system derived from religious – in this case Islamic – belief, is simply man made moral guidelines from the 7th and 8th centuries, where it continues to linger.

As it happens, the founder of the Hizb ut-Tahrir, Taquiuddin al-Nabhani, left us what he referred to as ‘A draft constitution of the Islamic state’. So it’s perhaps worth cross referencing the claims in the above passage, with what their founder had to say on how an Islamic caliphate would affect those of us who aren’t of the Islamist persuasion.

The first claim is:

“The Khilafah is a state for all people, Muslim and Non-Muslim, to live under the system ordained for them by their Creator, where the leader is chosen by them and accounted by them…”

– According to al-Nabhani, this isn’t particularly true. Article 26 of Nabhani’s draft constitution:

“Every sane Muslim of legal age, male or female, has the right to elect the Khalifah and to give him the Ba’yah. Non Muslims have no right in this issue.”

– The claim by Hizb, that Muslims and Non-Muslims would have the ability to choose their leader, is not shared by their founder. According to al-Nabhani, we non-muslims are expected to give up our claim to equal civil rights; our right to choose who governs us; our right to voice our opposition at the ballot box; our right to stand for public office; our right to the equal protections under the law afforded Muslims, as afforded the rest of us (because there’s no justifiable reason to oppress equal democratic rights) in secular countries. Article 126 states:

“Every wealth which can be disposed of only through the opinion and Ijtihad of the Khalifah is considered to be State wealth. Examples of this are the funds raised through general taxes, Kharaj, and Jizya, which is payable by non-Muslims.”

– So, we non-Muslims are to give up our right to public office, our right to choose our leaders, and enter the cage to be ruled over according to the dictates of a faith we are quite certain does not have divine law in the first place… and then we must also pay a tax to uphold this cruelty. We pay for our own oppression. You can call it “divine” all you want; oppression is oppression, and that is exactly what Hizb advocate. This all quite obviously negates the next claim:

“The rights of all are secured, their needs satisfied and their dreams pursued.”

– What if I dream of public office? What if a woman seeks public office? What if someone decides they no longer believe Islam to be true? Well, Nabhani isn’t too keen on either of those. Article 37 refutes Hizb’s claim that ‘the rights of all are secured’:

“Furthermore, the Khalifah must not appoint any female or non-Muslim governor”

– By ‘rights of all’ they appear to mean; the right for Muslim men to grant themselves a privileged position of power over the rest of us, tax us for the pleasure, and so tenderly gift us with “rights” that Muslim men have decided are acceptable for us, based on their personal beliefs. How generous!

The next claim:

“It is a state where women are honoured”

– Whilst history is quite clear that religion mixed with the state isn’t exactly a great liberator of women (as well as gay people, apostates, and non-believers), perhaps al-Nabahni’s Islamic supremacist state will change that. So, how does he intend to provide for the ‘honour’ of women? Well, we’ve seen that women are to give up their right to seek public office, and be ruled over entirely by men. Further, al-Nabhani says:

“A woman is primarily a mother and a home maker. She is an honor that must be safeguarded.”

– This is a wonderful example of a deeply oppressive man dictating to an entire gender exactly what their role should be, whether an individual woman agrees or not, regardless of what she wants for her life, enshrining it in a constitution made by men for the sake of the power of men, and then justifying it by objectifying that gender as a weak and mild group that big strong men are tasked with protecting. Enshrining presumed gender roles is the opposite of liberation and “honouring” women. He continues in Article 112:

“It is not permitted for a woman to assume responsibility for government”

– It takes a very strange mind to argue that the right to stand for election and hold public office for all regardless of ethnicity, gender, sexuality, or faith is oppressive, whilst the right to stand for election and public office for male Muslims only, is a great liberator.

As well as banning women from seeking office, and institutionalising gender roles, what other delights can women expect?

“Article 114
(Khulwa) a man and a woman are not allowed to be alone without a Mahrem. (Tabaruj) Make up and dress that normally catches attention and/or exposes the body are not allowed in front of non- Mahrem.

– Predictably, women are only allowed to wear what a man has permitted. The state will also control who you and I are allowed to be alone with, based on what appears to be the sexual frustration of Islamist men. Today I enjoyed a coffee with a female friend in private. We talked about the weather, and Devon. Hizb ut-Tahrir wish to stop that terrible evil ever happening again!

As a non-believer, how will my children be educated? I’d hope they’d be educated to be curious, to question, to engage in free inquiry, and be completely liberated from religious indoctrination and dogma. Al-Nabhani says:

“The Islamic ‘Aqeeda constitutes the basis upon which the curriculum rests. The syllabus and the teaching methods are designed to prevent a departure from this basis”

“The Islamic culture must be taught at all levels of education.”

– So, my kids will be indoctrinated into a faith that I absolutely do not wish for them. More non-Muslim oppression. Hizb ut-Tahrir has now assumed the right to control the minds of my children. This is the game of a very insecure faith, given that it requires childhood indoctrination rather than a liberated search for truth, in order to survive.

As a non-believer, if I were to marry a muslim woman, Hizb ut-Tahrir would happily take my children away from me:

“The custody of children is both a right and duty of the mother, whether she is a Muslim or not, as long as the child is in need for it. When children, girls or boys, are no longer in need of care, they are to choose which parent they wish to live with. This applies if both parents are Muslim. If only one of the parents or guardians is a Muslim, there is no choice in the matter. The child is to join the Muslim.”

– Not only is a child to be psychologically abused by the forcing of a choice between parents if both parents are Muslim, but a child of a non-Muslim and a Muslim is to be forcefully removed from the non-Muslim.

So, that’s the oppression of non-believers, the control of the minds of our children, the taking of our children, the oppression of women for the sake of empowering muslim men (amusingly, elsewhere on their website, Hizb argue vehemently that this is in no way an Islamic dictatorship). Who else must give up their basic civil rights – and in fact, their right to actually be alive – to be accommodated by Hizb ut-Tahrir’s perfect state? Well, article 7 part C states:

“Those who are guilty of apostasy from Islam are to be executed.”

– There is very little room to argue that this putrid statement is anything other than the complete opposite of liberty. It is the taking of a life, based on your personal religious belief. Let’s say I somehow come around to the idea of having my political and social rights rescinded, that I’m suddenly fine being arrested for the crime of talking to a woman in private, that I have no problem with my children being kidnapped by religious fascists, let’s say I’m fine with all that… I now have to watch as the same religious fascists, murder my ex-Muslim friends? And this is a state of peace and harmony? Sounds like paradise for fascists, and one big prison cell for the rest of us. Hizb ut-Tahrir have assumed the right for themselves to murder others who no longer believe as they belief. If this is beginning to sound like a very violent cult, it’s because it is. Institutionalised supremacy – religious, racial, or otherwise – is best upheld when it is accompanied by fear. And nothing is more oppressive and fear-inducing than claiming ownership of the minds of individuals, by threatening to murder them if they freely and individually utilise their faculties of reason to come to a conclusion that differs from those who seek to cage them.

Uthman Badar of Hizb ut-Tahrir Australia once said:

“Insulting another person’s beliefs does not encourage them to think. Instead, it makes them more entrenched, defensive and prepared to retaliate – that’s human nature.”

– Well Uthman, threatening to murder people if they no longer believe exactly as you do, also doesn’t encourage much thinking. Incidentally, I wrote on Uthman Badar’s demand to “protect” beliefs from offence here. It’s an odd demand from a group whose draft constitution is offensive to absolutely everyone other than Muslim men.

Al-Nabhani doesn’t mention the punishment for homosexuality, but if Hizb ut-Tahrir’s African sect is anything to go by, I’m pretty sure gay people – alongside women, apostates, and non-Muslims – may be on the receiving end of Islamist 7th century ‘divine justice’:

“Homosexuality is an Evil that Destroys Societies!”

– Ironic claim from Islamists. When gay people were under vicious abuse in Likoni, Hizb ut-Tahrir objected to their protection, encouraging violent attacks:

“Moreover, the action of the police in rescuing homosexuals is further evidence that the government has no intention to preventing such evils since this is not the first time for the police to protect sodomites and lesbians.”

– Of course, they justify attacking and abusing other human beings, with religious myths. To these people, if you happen to be gay, your right to be alive is negated by members of Hizb ut-Tahrir believing certain ancient myths. What hideous poison, and an obvious indication of the exact reason religion must not be allowed the power of state ever again. It is clear that disenfranchising all those who may pose a threat to an established order of tyranny, is a wonderful way to tighten a grip on power. It is therefore no surprise that al-Nabhani’s draft constitution is anti-liberty, and anti-human at its very core.

In the original paragraph posted at the beginning of this article, we see the insistance that the ‘vulnerable protected’ in a Hizb state. The word ‘vulnerable’ is subjective depending on the society. In an al-Nabhani state, the most vulnerable are quite clearly apostates, non-believers, women, and gay people. In Likoni, Hizb ut-Tahrir fully endorsed physically harming vulnerable people. By reducing their civil rights, dehumanising them, forcing them to pay for this grotesque state of oppression, Hizb ut-Tahrir do not ‘protect’ vulnerable people, on the contrary, they create vulnerable people and then abuse them. This is then presented as some sort of harmonious society. It is a state of fear and nothing more.

Of course, no Islamist can go very long without declaring all out war on Israel. Al-Nabhani goes further, and enshrines war and a war mentality into the draft constitution:

“With states that are actually belligerent states, such as Israel, a state of war must be taken as the basis for all dispositions with them. They must be dealt with as if a real war existed between us, whether during cease fire or other wise. All citizen of such states are prevented from entering the State.

– One can only presume that this is an extension of al-Nabhani’s belief that the entire region belongs to Islam; a bewildering claim on land, that echoes that of the Israeli far right perfectly. To the rest of us, land belongs to all those who live on it, not to a faith.

So, that’s death to apostates, oppression for women, dehumanising non-believers (a joyful existence we’re expected to pay for), controlling the minds of our children for the sake of your faith, the taking of our children, harming gay people (I presume), anti-Semitism, and all out war on Israel. If this is ‘divine justice’, I don’t think your ‘God’ is for me, and so I’ll stick to secular democracy and equal rights and liberty for all, protected from His tyranny. Hizb ut-Tahrir’s ideal state, is one in which genocide is the norm, until all those who don’t fit its very narrow ideological precepts are dead. It is a state of perpetual horror, with absolutely no respect nor concern for the basic right to life.

Whilst al-Nabhani spent his time raging against what he perceived as Western imperialism, the system he came up with was not one that liberated, but one that created new oppressors to replace the old ones. His system is the very definition of imperialism, and supremacy. The concept of liberty, and equal civil rights for all regardless of ethnicity, faith, gender, sexuality is abandoned, for the sake of the violent dictatorship of one faith. A supremacist system we are all expected to pay to uphold, whilst being excluded from the political system itself, denied our basic rights, institutionalised as second rate citizens, and punished by a religion we don’t adhere to. I can’t imagine the horrific treatment afforded to an apostate who also happens to be gay. The presumption that we must sign away our political and social freedoms, and climb into the Islamist cage to be abused at will, is imperialism at its most oppressive.

Anchoring morality to a single time and place, claiming it is from God, drawing up a political system based on it, and then expecting me to adhere to its principles and be punished if I don’t, first requires you convince me that the claim is true; offer irrefutable proof, not philosophical conjecture and rehashed centuries old cosmological arguments that weren’t very convincing in the first place. Until you do that, you have absolutely no jurisdiction over anyone else’s life other than your own, and to claim that you do and then to enforce it, is the very definition of oppression.

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