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Last Updated: Sunday, 4 September 2005, 18:29 GMT 19:29 UK
Islamic group defends activities
Dr Imran Waheed
Dr Imran Waheed says the group are not targeting Muslim students
Radical Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahrir has defended itself against newspaper claims that it is secretly recruiting vulnerable British university students.

The group, barred from universities by the National Union of Students after accusations of anti-Semitism, denies setting up front organisations.

Delegates met in London, following government plans to ban it from the UK as part of a post-7 July crackdown.

The group, which says it is not violent, is banned in some countries.

Germany and Russia are among the countries in which it is illegal, while it has also been officially targeted by Central Asian states such as Uzbekistan.

Islamic state

Hizb ut-Tahrir leaders reacted strongly to accusations in the Independent on Sunday that it had set up secret groups to recruit students.

We were banned because we were accused of being anti-Semitic as a result of our opposition to the state of Israel
Dr Imran Waheed

Dr Imran Waheed, spokesman for Hizb ut-Tahrir in the UK, denied claims that it was trying to radicalise British Muslim youth, or that it promoted violence.

Hizb ut-Tahrir wants an Islamic Caliphate across the Middle East, with no Western-style separation between religion and politics.

"This conference comes as our work is in the spotlight and as some of those who work to see the return of the Caliphate have been labelled as adherents of an evil ideology," said Mr Waheed at Sunday's conference.

"We have invited Muslims and non-Muslims to the event to correct some of those misconceptions and there are around 1,000 people in attendance," he said.

'Nothing to fear'

Dr Waheed said the group's aims were working toward "accountable governance rather than that adopted by tyrants.

"The West has nothing to fear from the two systems working side by side."

He added there was "absolutely no truth" those recruited by the group were also likely to be those targeted by militant groups.

"In fact we are hoping to review our status with the National Union of Students," said Mr Waheed.

"We were banned because we were accused of being anti-Semitic as a result of our opposition to the state of Israel.

"We are hardly alone in speaking out against the occupation of Palestine."

Q&A: Hizb ut-Tahrir
06 Aug 05 |  UK

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