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A supporter of an Islamist extremist group which David Cameron and Tony Blair both attempted to ban is being investigated by police after calling for “Jihad” to “wipe out that Zionist entity”.
Police confirmed that a speech made at a Birmingham pro-Palestine rally last month had been recorded as a hate crime. The rally was organised by Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain, the UK wing of Hizb ut-Tahrir, a global Islamist party which calls for the foundation of an Islamic caliphate and has been banned in some Arab countries.
The move comes after The Telegraph disclosed that hate speech is to be treated as a “priority threat” and tackled as part of the Government’s counter-terrorism strategy, amid concerns about a resurgence of Islamist extremism.
In a video posted online last month, a man identified as Belal Mohammed, a supporter of Hizb ut-Tahrir recorded himself at the protest on May 16.
He said: “This goes out to the Muslim armies, what are you waiting for? Jihad is responsibility on you. Wipe out that Zionist entity. How dare they occupy Masjid Al-Aqsa [the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem]”.
He added: “The Muslim youth here, we the Muslims in the West, we are with you ... We don’t fear the United Nations, British government. We don’t give a damn. We only fear Allah. Jihad fi sabilillah via the armies.”
Concerns raised alleging anti-Semitic hate speech
A West Midlands Police spokesman told The Telegraph: “We are aware of a video posted on social media taken during a pro–Palestine event in Centenary Square in May. We have received a report raising concerns over the nature of the language used by one of the speakers, alleging it was anti-Semitic hate speech.
“A hate crime has been recorded and it’s currently with our investigators for an assessment. We will not tolerate hate crime, and we would always encourage people to report offences to us so we can take appropriate action.”
The call to “Muslim armies” chimes with a campaign by Hizb ut-Tahrir in the UK urging Muslims to support the “liberation” of Palestinians by “Muslim armies”.
In May, placards associated with the group were brandished by activists at a pro-Palestine protest in Luton, but black tape appeared to be masking the phrasing “Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain” which appeared on similar placards at the earlier gathering in Birmingham.
The speech was reported to officers by the Community Security Trust, which monitors anti-Semitism in Britain.
Dave Rich, the CST’s director of policy, said: “It is absolutely right that this violent, inflammatory speech is treated as a hate crime and we hope it leads to an arrest and prosecution, just as there should be similar police action with the many other examples of extremist incitement across the country that fuelled the recent surge in anti-Semitism.”
On May 11, Hizb ut-Tahrir’s global leadership issued a statement saying: “The monstrous Jews are spreading their brutal aggression on all parts of Palestine.”
Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain has issued recent material on its Facebook page declaring that it is “incumbent upon every Muslim to call for the armies to mobilise to liberate Palestine and all Muslim lands”.
Last month, Hizb ut-Tahrir said in a statement: “We distinguish between Jewish people as a faith and an ethnicity, and the Zionist military occupation that calls itself a ‘Jewish state’ ... In Britain we use the term Zionist entity as we do not recognise the name that it gives itself.
“Hizb ut-Tahrir does not promote fear, criminality or terrorism. No honest person has ever said this nor does any evidence exist to support this. Hizb ut-Tahrir does not encourage violence against civilians.”
A spokesman for the group added: “Only the press releases, publications and statements of Hizb ut-Tahrir spokesmen and women and media representatives represent the official views of the party”.
On Saturday Mr Belal said: “Jihad is the foreign policy of the Islamic System which is established on the way of Prophethood. It has nothing to do with violence against civilians, as your newspaper often misportrayed it. Opposition to the illegal occupation of Palestine is not anti-Semitic”.