The Sunday Telegraph

Police investigat­e ‘hate speech’ at pro-Palestinia­n rally

Hizb ut-Tahrir supporter called for a ‘jihad against Zionist entity’ during protest in Birmingham


A SUPPORTER of an Islamist extremist group that 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 pro-Palestinia­n rally in Birmingham last month was recorded as a hate crime.

The rally was organised by Hizb utTahrir Britain, the UK wing of Hizb utTahrir, which calls for the foundation of an Islamic caliphate and has been banned in some Arab countries.

The move comes after The Sunday Telegraph disclosed that hate speech was to be treated as a “priority threat” and tackled as part of the 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.”

A West Midlands Police spokesman said: “We have received a report alleging it was anti-Semitic hate speech. A hate crime has been recorded and it’s currently with our investigat­ors for an assessment.”

The call to “Muslim armies” chimes with a UK campaign by Hizb ut-Tahrir urging support for the “liberation” of Palestinia­ns by “Muslim armies”.

In May, placards associated with the group were brandished at a pro-Palestinia­n protest in Luton, but black tape appeared to be masking the phrasing “Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain” which was seen 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.”

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”.

A Hizb ut-Tahrir spokesman said: “Only the press releases, publicatio­ns and statements of Hizb ut-Tahrir spokesmen and women and media representa­tives represent the official views of the party.”

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