HIZB UT-TAHRIR AND THE CALIPHATE

HIZB UT-TAHRIR AND THE CALIPHATE

Contemporary Muslim World

HIZB UT-TAHRIR AND THE CALIPHATE
WHY THE GROUP IS STILL APPEALING TO MUSLIMS IN THE WEST

Author(s): Elisa Orofino

Reviewed by: Hamzah Zahid, MA Jameel Scholar, Cardiff University, UK

 

Review

For a group that once caused “12,000 Muslims to scream Khilafah” and later danced on the precipice of legality, Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT) in Britain is an underexplored phenomenon. Orofinio’s recent book fills a sizeable research gap by providing a sociological analysis of the group, rather than an analysis from the well-worn counterterror perspective. In this regard, Orofino’s work is a much-needed contribution to the study of how Islamic movements recruit and retain members.

Orofino seeks to explore the appeal of Islamist groups, using HT as an example. HT is of particular interest because of its consistency and longevity (p. ix); after being persecuted for decades throughout the Muslim world, HT still exists, and in some cases has thrived. The success of the British HT in the first half of the 1990s is widely documented in both academic and biographical sources. This is despite the restrictions that HT places on members’ active citizenship, leisure activities, dress code and religious practice (p. x). Orofino thus explores the appeal of HT in Britain, the headquarters of European HT and Australia, which has never been explored before.


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