Extremist conference is held despite protest

Tatchell against Islamic extremism: Adam Barnett

Anti-extremist protestors held a  demonstration yesterday outside a meeting in the East End being organised by a hardline Islamic organisation.

Newly-formed human rights organisation Alliance Against Extremism, which includes Muslim campaigners united in protest against extremist Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir.

The group, which protestors say is seeking to “impose its supremacist interpretation of Islam on the whole world”, held a ‘Caliphate Conference’ at the Waterlily Business Centre in Mile End accompanied by The Alliance who picketed from noon to 3pm.

Campaigner Peter Tatchell, who joined the protest defined Hizb ut-Tahrir as opposing democracy and seeking to “establish a global religious dictatorship, a caliphate.”

“Non-Islamic political parties would be illegal. Gender apartheid and the segregation of men and women would become mandatory,” Tatchell said.

“Hizb ut-Tahrir is guilty of extreme intolerance towards Muslims who do not share its harsh, fundamentalist interpretation of Islam. It advocates the execution of Muslims who turn away from their faith or convert to another religion. The group has urged the death penalty for gay people and for women who have sex outside of marriage. Some of its members have a history of anti-Semitism.

“The anti-humanitarian views of Hizb ut-Tahrir are not shared by most Muslims in Britain. Its extreme fundamentalist policies are stoking Islamophobic prejudice. We stand in solidarity with the many Muslims who support democracy and human rights,” Tatchell added.

Adam Barnett, one of the campaign organisers, said the protest had been arranged at the last minute because they hoped Waterlily Business Centre would change their minds about hosting the event.

However the venue did not pull out and the demonstration went ahead,  joined by members of such pro-democracy and human rights organisations as Quilliam Foundation and British Muslims for Secular Democracy.

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