RADICAL GOALS, QUIET METHODSThe Jamestown Foundation
had a report last month
on the rising popularity in the Arab world ( or at least Salafi and devout middle class circles therein) of the Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir
. An excerpt:"HT is regarded with some confusion by Western analysts because while its goals of recreating a caliphate and then converting the world to Islam by force if necessary are almost indistinguishable from bin Laden's, its methods are entirely different. Although HT members sincerely believe that the caliphate will be recreated soon, HT's real significance is likely to be its increasingly important role in radicalizing and Islamizing the Middle East. For example, HT's ideologies also fuel the increasingly common view that the present conflict between Western democracies and Islamists is not a resolvable dispute over land, territory and temporal politics, but is rather an inevitable clash of civilizations, cultures and religions.HT, by saying that non-Muslim attempts to prevent the creation of a global Islamic empire amount to the deliberate persecution of Muslims, feed the victim culture that fuels Islamic radicalism today, as well as provide the necessary theological justification for individual acts of defensive or pre-emptive jihad. HT argues that the Quran says that all non-Muslim countries, cultures and individuals must submit to Islam. HT members who accept this theory naturally begin to see the world exclusively in terms of Muslims and non-Muslims, and inevitably begin to see all non-Islamic entities as worthy of destruction. In addition, HT's absolute rejection of democracy as un-Islamic is considerably more hard line than that of the Muslim Brotherhood and other groups, while the group also takes highly conservative positions regarding women, alcohol and freedom of speech."
This meshes with what I have previously read about the group which seems to be favored by educated and well to do " quiet extremists".
I once scanned a translated list of Hizb ut-Tahrir detainees in a Central Asian republic - the professions were heavily represented as were army officers and journalists. The group would seem to have the makings of a " vanguard" movement of radicalized intellectuals that can simmer for decades before abruptly bursting forth into a spasm of revolutionary action.