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Extremist Islamic group threatens tolerant Australia

Extremist Islamic group threatens tolerant Australia

02 August 2010

The Victorian Jewish community has expressed concern that an extremist Islamic organisation with a history of incitement and antisemitism has begun holding meetings in Melbourne.

Hizb ut-Tahrir is banned in the US, Germany, Russia and many Muslim countries including Pakistan and Egypt because it is defined as a terrorist group. Terrorists involved in 9/11 and the London bombings have been linked to the group.

In Australia the group has been meeting in Sydney since 2007 but over the past year has begun holding events in Melbourne. Jewish leaders are concerned that the group held a meeting in the Brunswick Town Hall on Sunday, with the permission of the Moreland City Council.

They will be writing to the Council to ensure it is aware of Hizb ut-Tahrir's history of incitement, rejection of democracy and race hatred.

The Chairman of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria Mr John Searle said he was sure the Moreland Council would not wish to support a group that preaches violence and runs counter to the spirit of multiculturalism.

"This is an issue that anyone who respects democracy and the rule of law should be concerned about as this is a group that rejects Australian values.

Hizb ut-Tahrir in Sydney describes Israel as 'a dagger in Muslim lands' and argues that democracy is not for Muslims. We don't want that kind of divisiveness underming multicultural Melbourne."

A Jewish community organisation which monitors antisemitism says internationally Hizb ut-Tahrir has an apalling record of spreading hate against Jews. The chairman of the B'nai B'rith Anti-Defamation Commission Mr Tony Levy said Hizb ut-Tahrir's ideology of destroying democracy and replacing it with an Islamic Caliphate was partially responsible for terrorist attacks like 9/11, and 7/7. In Britain Hizb ut-Tahrir disseminated material claiming Jews were "a people of slander" and in Denmark a Hizb ut-Tahrir leader was convicted of inciting racial hatred after telling Muslims to kill Jews.

"Australians would be foolish to ignore the violence and hatred this group has expressed in other countries. We have a wonderful tolerant multicultural society and we have to be vigilant in protecting it," he said.

For more information contact Deborah Stone on 9572 5770 or Geoffrey Zygier on 9272 5579

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