I wanted to make more easily available the useful work Allen Esterson has done on the changes Hizb ut-Tahrir has made on its website, which he posted in comments on the previous N&C.
It is significant that some of the language the organization has had on its website has been removed, or toned down, presumably to make it more amenable for Western consumption. For instance, the statement that “There is no middle position or compromise solution in Islam” used to appear on the website, along with the statement: “The terminology of compromise did not appear amongst Muslims until the modern age. It is a foreign terminology and its source is the West and the Capitalist ideology. This is the ideology whose creed is based upon a compromise solution.”
At the time I accessed this I noted the URL (either earlier this year, or last year). It is now a blank page.
Again, the page “WHAT IS THE CALIPHATE (or KHILAFAH)?” disappeared for a while, and now reappears considerably toned down.
For example, the following about the Khaleefah (Clerical Leader) no longer appears: “These ahadith are clear statements of the fact that Muslims cannot have more than one Khaleefah, and if another person tries to wrest his power it is necessary to kill that person… If anyone disputed with the Khaleefah in order to break up the State or to put himself forward as Khaleefah, he should be killed.”
This is replaced by: “Accountability [of Khaleefah]: – He can also be accounted by individuals, political groups, scholars, and an elected people’s assembly.”
As for Sharia Law, it’s really very benign – most of the time: “The judiciary cannot be influenced by the rulers while investigating a case. Any accusation of criminal offence needs to be investigated and proved, often with a much higher burden of proof than in democratic states. Punishments in Islam are very variable – some more lenient than that in the modern day. However, the hudood punishments for a small number of offences are prohibitively harsh, deterring people from committing these offences.”
Out goes: “The establishment of a Khaleefah is an obligation upon all Muslims in the world. Performing this duty, like any of the duties prescribed by Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’Ala) upon the Muslims, is an urgent obligation in which there can be no choice or complacency. Negligence in performing this duty is one of the greatest sins, for which Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’Ala) punishes severely.”
I think we all know what is meant by a severe punishment under Sharia law.