LONDON — Britain on Monday declared Hizb ut-Tahrir, a global Islamist group, a proscribed terrorist organization, making it a criminal offense to belong to the group it described as antisemitic.
The proscription of the Sunni Islamist political group, equating it with al-Qaida and ISIS, will take effect from Jan. 19, pending parliamentary approval, the Home Office said.
Home Secretary James Cleverly accused Hizb ut-Tahrir of being “an antisemitic organization that actively promotes and encourages terrorism.” This includes lauding the 7 October attacks by the Palestinian militant group Hamas in southern Israel, which killed 1,200.
Cleverly cited the group’s praise of the attacks and its depiction of Hamas as heroes on its website as evidence of promoting terrorism.
He added that the organization has a history of extolling attacks against Jewish people.
A U.K.-based representative for Hizb ut-Tahrir did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Last month, the group’s website called the proposed ban “a sign of desperation.”
The proscription makes membership in, promotion of, arranging meetings for, or public display of the group’s logo a criminal offense in Britain, punishable by up to 14 years in prison.
Under British law, the home secretary has the authority to proscribe an organization if it is involved in terrorism and if such a measure is deemed proportionate, according to the government’s website.
Founded in 1953 and based in Lebanon, Hizb ut-Tahrir operates in 32 countries, including Britain and other Western nations. Its long-term goal is to establish a caliphate governed by Islamic law, the Home Office said.
The group is banned in Germany, Egypt, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and several Central Asian and Arab countries.