Two ex-members of the islamist organization Hizb-ut-Tahrir, Ed Husain and Maajid Nawaz, visitied Copenhagen this past Friday. They were part of a panel at a public debate about Hizb-ut Tahrir that wants the institutions of democracy abolished and a caliphat ruled by sharia law established.
Asked by Jyllands-Posten if it makes sense to engage in a debate with islamists like members of Hizb-ut-Tahrir Ed Husain said:
”It’s important to understand that when you argue with Hizb-ut-Tahrir you are in fact talking to many young Muslims who feel attracted by the clear message of the islamists, but who are not part of the extremist community. That’s why we have to engage in public debates with these people.”
Last year Husain published the Islamist, his own story about joining radical Islam and quitting. In the book he calls for a ban on Hizb-ut-Tahrir, but now he has changed his mind, and I fully agree. Without being naive and appeasing the open society has to believe in its own values and moral foundation.
”If we ban these organizations, we acknowledge that democracy don’t have strong enough arguments to defeat religious fascists. A ban will only enlarge the gulf between them and us, and that debate is over in the UK. Muslims have to step forward and join the debate and it’s important that they are given access to the media.”