“We as Muslims reject the idea of freedom of speech, and even the idea of freedom. We see under the Khilafa (caliphate), when people used to engage in a positive way, this idea of freedom was redundant, it was unnecessary, because the society understood under the education system of the Khilafa state, and under the political framework of Islam, that people must engage with each other in a positive and productive way to produce results, as the Qur’an says, to get to know one another.” – Hamza Andreas Tzortzis
Mr Tzortzis, a Greek convert, was a trustee of Green Crescent, a British charity placed under investigation by the Charity Commission for links with Islamist terrorism. He resigned his trusteeship after Green Crescent’s head, Faisal Mostafa, was arrested and charged with terrorism offences in Bangladesh following the discovery of arms caches at a school run by the charity.
Dr Mostafa has twice stood trial – and been cleared – on terrorism charges in Britain. In 2008, however, he was given a two-year suspended sentence after attempting to board an aeroplane at Manchester airport with a pistol in his suitcase.
Mr Tzortzis, although never personally accused of terrorist offences, has called for an Islamic state, expressed his hostility towards Western values and stated that: “We as Muslims reject the idea of freedom of speech, and even of freedom.”
He is a former researcher for the hardline Hittin Institute and chaired the launch event of iERA, an umbrella organisation hosting many well-known British Muslim extremists who preach opposition to democracy and hatred against homosexuals and Jews.
Tzortzis’ links with Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT):
The Centre for Social Cohesion (CSC) reported on the activities of extremist Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain (HTB) in November 2009. Readers will probably have heard of the group most recently in relation to Conservative Party leader, David Cameron, asking about HTB’s control of publically funded schools at Prime Minister’s Questions on 25 November 2009 without getting his facts quite right and allowing the government to spin their way out of trouble.
According to the CSC report (executive summary) HTB is:[A] revolutionary Islamist party that works to establish an expansionist super-state in Muslim-majority countries, unifying Muslims worldwide as one political bloc, or “ummah”…Inherent to HT’s worldview is a clash between “Western” and “Islamic” civilisations. The party believes the United Kingdom and United States of America are leading a campaign against Islam and Muslims worldwide. HT considers the influence of Western thought and physical presence in Muslim-majority countries as a threat to Islam, which it wishes to “uproot”. Liberal values – secularism, human rights and pluralism – are rejected as “un-Islamic” because they differ from HT’s Islamist doctrine. Promoting democracy, for example, is seen as part of a Western conspiracy to weaken Islam. Communism and socialism are also rejected despite HT’s founder and ideologue heavily borrowing from socialist concepts to formulate party ideology.
While HT is not a terrorist organisation, its revolutionary Islamism belongs to the same political spectrum as entry-level Islamists (the Muslim Brotherhood) and militant Islamists (al-Qaeda). While they differ in methodology, the end goal of all three organisations is to create an “Islamic state”. A number of militant Islamist groups emerged in the Middle East as a result of being radicalised by HT’s sectarian ideology, and former members have since participated in terrorism.
The tactics employed by HT include:
… [adopting] front groups – youth groups, student and community organisations – to disseminate its ideology. Designed to circumnavigate the party’s possible proscription, HTB uses front groups to embed its ideology within British Muslim communities…
The party focuses on university campuses, youth organisations and mosques. In some cases, HTB members have targeted school children. For example, party members run the Islamic Shakhsiyah Foundation – a charity that manages two primary schools – and write the schools’ curriculum based on HT’s version of Islam. The government regulatory body Ofsted has praised the schools’ “Islamic” ethos and the foundation has received £113,411 in government grants.
One of the tactics employed by the group is to use front individuals to speak on university campuses to spread their ideology and recruit supporters.
The following segment based on the CSC’s report; pages 95 – 97 (PDF format pages 104 – 106 out of 175):
HTB appears to be adopting a policy of using “front” individuals to propagate its brand of Islamism. The authors of the report believe that Tzortzis is one such individual. While Tzortzis obfuscates the issue of his association with HTB, one former party member attests to his previous involvement in the organisation and suggests that he may have distanced himself from the party in order to give him and his organisation plausible deniability. In April 2008 Tzortzis wrote to the Centre for Social Cohesion to invite a representative to participate in a panel discussion on community cohesion in East London. The email, signed from Tzortzis, was sent from email@example.com. In 2006 Tzortzis was Deputy Chairman of the Hackney Muslim Organisation (HMO), a now inactive community group. HMO organised a fundraising dinner in August of that year for Interpal, where Tzortzis gave a platform and spoke alongside Taji Mustafa, a member of HTB’s executive committee.
Tzortzis speaks regularly at events organised by HTB, advocating the Islamist belief that Islam is a divinely-inspired political system and therefore superior to liberal democracy which is man-made. For example, in a video posted on the party’s website of an HTB event in Central London in April 2008, Tzortzis is recorded saying:
“It’s a very real, very rational argument that the Qur’an can only be from the creator. And these are arguments that we need to develop, that we need to research, in order to discuss, ideologically, with the non-Muslims, to show to them that Islam does not have to be defended. And I am not here today to defend Islam in any shape or form. When they mention democracy and secularism, they say why these are enlightened values? They don’t justify their belief and nor should we in some cases, why should we justify what Allah (SWT) says when we must cut the hand of the thief with all these conditions, why would we justify the social system?[…]
Our deen, our aqeedah is based on something that is real that is rational and that is proven. Whereas their aqeedah and their manifestations of their aqeedah is based on something weak, based on the compromise, and something that can be easily refuted.”
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