Islamist group won’t admit magazine role
Natalie O’Brien and Sanna Trad | April 12, 2008
A RADICAL Islamist magazine pushing anti-Israeli sentiments is being sold on university campuses in Sydney, but the organisation believed to be behind the booklet, Hizb ut-Tahrir, is refusing to acknowledge its role in the publication.
The idialogue, a 42-page glossy magazine, was yesterday being sold to students as they left Friday prayers at the University of Technology Sydney, the University of NSW and the University of Sydney.
But the young men peddling the magazine refused to say who or what organisation is behind the publication.
“Read it for yourself,” was the only comment they would make.
The Sydney-based media officer for Hizb ut-Tahrir, Wassim Doureihi, is writing for the magazine, and other members of Hizb ut-Tahrir are involved in its production.
However Mr Doureihi has refused to return calls from The Weekend Australian.
The magazine is to be published quarterly and has a cover price of $3.50.
The first edition opens with a message from the editorial team which says in part “we launch this initiative at a time when strong political messages should not be shied away from by the Muslim community … and the ideological onslaught against Islam is evident on every level of society”.
The magazine pushes a strong anti-Israeli message focusing on the issue of the Palestinian territories, saying “the holiest of Islamic lands is in the hands of the unholiest – the illegal and illegitimate state of Israel”.
It also reproduces a 1935 fatwa issued by the religious scholars of Palestine against the selling of lands to Zionists.
Hizb ut-Tahrir is a secretive organisation which promotes the destruction of Western civilisation and the overthrow of governments and their replacement by Islamic rule.
The group is banned in much of Europe, China and Saudi Arabia but remains legal in Britain and Australia.
Five years ago, most Western observers did not consider Hizb ut-Tahrir a serious threat, but its influence has grown and it now has branches in about 45 countries.
The group has twice been investigated by ASIO.
The role of Hizb ut-Tahrir in the radicalisation of young Muslims was revealed last year when four of the seven suspects in failed terror attacks on London and Glasgow were found to have had links to a Hizb ut-Tahrir cell in Cambridge.
A research paper produced last year in Australia warned the organisation was a conveyor belt for extremists.