Hizb ut-Tahrir and I, part 2


by Sunny
29th March, 2006 at 1:31 am    

At least they turned up this time. Yesterday I was in a TV debate with someone from Hizb ut-Tahrir and a lady from Education Fund (or something) who represented Shabina Begum. To be honest the debate was much easier than I expected. HuT’s argument that this was fundamentally about intolerance towards Muslims was easy to blow out of the water.

The best bit came half-way when the Pizza HuT member said ‘freedom to express religion was the hallmark of a civilised society’, and I retorted with: ‘But in the HuT caliphate Muslims won’t have freedom to interpret their religion how they want to, will they? Does that mean you’re not civilised?’ Then followed a discussion about how much ‘freedom’ HuT is willing to allow its followers, and the Shabina Begum lawyer trying to distance herself from them.
It’ll be aired today on PTV Prime (Sky 815) at 6pm. That hour is free to air.


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  1. Fluid Mind

    Hizb ut-Tahir.

    From Pickled Politics debating Hizb ut-Tahir.The best bit came half-way when the Pizza HuT member said ‘freedom to express religion was the hallmark of a civilised society’, and I retorted with: ‘But in the HuT caliphate Muslims won’t have freedom




  1. Rohin — on 29th March, 2006 at 1:36 am  

    Yay! Good stuff Sunnyator. I shall make sure to watch; I tuned in for your last tete a tete with the HuT and was sorely disappointed with the no-show. Jolly good.

    How is PTV generally? Got an agenda or unbiased?

  2. Sunny — on 29th March, 2006 at 1:51 am  

    Yeah my head was shining a bit too much last time too in the ITV lights. This studio is more chilled :)

    The programme I’m sometimes on, World Today, is the only one free-to-air and regularly made in the UK I think. They’re quite good with trying to have controversial current affairs debates with different people. No way as biased as the Islam Channel. Their presenter is at least very well read.

  3. Vikrant — on 29th March, 2006 at 6:50 am  

    7 pm…. hmm i’ll try to watch yer show.

    Bonnie Prince Vickie

  4. Steve — on 29th March, 2006 at 8:56 am  

    I’ll have to work out how my new TV box works and see if I can pick it up.

    Excuse my ignorance but is PTV a channel or is it a programme on Sky news?

  5. David T — on 29th March, 2006 at 9:09 am  

    Top stuff, dude

  6. Vikrant Singh — on 29th March, 2006 at 10:18 am  

    PTV Prime is a Pakistani government channel i think…

  7. Vikrant Singh — on 29th March, 2006 at 10:21 am  

    How is PTV generally? Got an agenda or unbiased?
    yo bet!

    BTW I’m not quite sure hoe do i tune into Sky 815 on my NTL box.

  8. Jay Singh — on 29th March, 2006 at 10:44 am  

    Good one Sunny!

  9. Sunny — on 29th March, 2006 at 1:22 pm  

    whoops! Its 6pm, not 7pm tonight! Yeah, PTV is the Pakistani state channel I think and they’re available on Sky on subscription but this hour (6-7) is free because its usually British current affairs. The debate is in English don’t worry :)

    Vikrant – I don’t think it comes on NTL mate!

  10. Vikrant Singh — on 29th March, 2006 at 1:24 pm  

    =( surely they must keep the transcripts somewhere….

  11. leon — on 29th March, 2006 at 1:30 pm  

    Ah crap, aint got that channel. Any idea whether it will be available online (Sunny, you should set up a You Tube account to archive your visual appearances!)?

  12. David — on 29th March, 2006 at 1:43 pm  

    I think PTV Prime is number 795 on Sky, not 815. I’ve set it to record and I’m looking forward to it!

  13. Siddhartha Singh Muslim — on 29th March, 2006 at 1:47 pm  

    I’m going to have to get Sky+ just to record you on your numerous tv appearances, you media whore.

  14. Jay Singh — on 29th March, 2006 at 1:47 pm  

    Sunny is the biggest media whore since Anvar Khan

  15. raz — on 29th March, 2006 at 1:58 pm  

    Just as a correction, PTV PRIME is a private UK channel, not the same thing as the Pakistani State PTV. However, PTV PRIME does hold the license to all the Pakistani PTV content, and as such can be seen as a ‘little brother’ to the original network.

    Pakistani current affairs programmes tend to be reasonably frank and open and do not shy away from controversy. There are always a wide selection of viewpoints canvassed. It’s also not correct to make comparisons between an ‘Islam channel’ (which defines itself as a purely Muslim organisation) and a ‘Pakistani’ channel such as PTV which does feature religous content but also has music videos, concerts, fashion, dramas, etc. It doesn’t suprise me that one would appear to be much more open-minded than the other.

    It’s a shame it is in English. I was looking forward to Sunny speaking Urdu :)

  16. Vikrant Singh — on 29th March, 2006 at 2:10 pm  

    Urdu, Hindi whats the difference?

  17. Vikrant Singh — on 29th March, 2006 at 2:11 pm  

    Btw any pointers to how can i hack my ntl box to show up PTV?

  18. Vikrant Singh — on 29th March, 2006 at 2:12 pm  

    BTW Sunny check your mail reel quick.

  19. Fe'reeha — on 29th March, 2006 at 3:45 pm  

    However, PTV PRIME does hold the license to all the Pakistani PTV content

    No, they do not.
    They actually pay for the programmes they have. And a lot of them come from private channels or production houses.
    For instance, you mentioned Machis a few days ago, which is production of a city-based Pakistani channel, Hum, but PTV Prime bought it.
    You are right in saying that Prime is not PTV.
    One thing is sure after looking at all Pakistani channels in the UK. Pakistanis cannot live without politics. All of them have two or three major political shows even though they are mainly entertainment channels, apart from ARY one world.
    Good thing about Prime is that once in a while they do shows for British Asians. No other channel has done it so far. Hmmmmm, it could be a debate in itself. Why are Pakistani channels targetting only the first generation Pakistanis?

  20. raz — on 29th March, 2006 at 3:55 pm  

    You’re wrong Fe’reeha. PTV PRIME does have access to PTV content. Of course they have to pay for it – that’s what a license is for. They even state so on their website. They also secure programs from other sources such as Maachis.

  21. Jay Singh — on 29th March, 2006 at 6:41 pm  

    Just watched the first half hour and Sunny was in control – the Pizza Hut representative was made to look a chump, it was actually very funny to see her face and eyebrows in distress when Sunny took her arguments apart – it was like taking candy from a baby – very entertaining, and the presenter was very impressive too. The stupidity of Pizza Hut is astonishing, their hypocrisy and contradictions were exposed with ease. Sunny basically got the poor distressed lady to admit that her organisation was uncivilised. Good stuff!

    The presenter should present discussions on mainstream TV too.

  22. Vikrant Singh — on 29th March, 2006 at 6:47 pm  

    grr… NTL sucks.

  23. Rohin — on 29th March, 2006 at 6:51 pm  

    Yeah it started off rather tamely but as soon as Sunny exposed Jilbab the HuT for what they are it became very amusing. She was useless that Dr Nasreen, how on Earth did she get a PhD? I genuinely don’t think the barrister Laura Barrie had any idea what HuT was actually about. They’re fucking insane and their ‘media representative’ was hopeless and didn’t know how to answer many questions, like the host’s:

    “You say salwar kameez is Asian, but jilbab is Islamic. It’s interesting you use a geographical term and then a religious one to describe the two dresses. So there are over a billion muslims in the world – most are not Arab. Most are Asian. Most do not wear the jilbab, which you say is a requirement for all Muslim women, are they not Islamic?”

    But the whole house of cards came down with one exchange for me:

    “Let’s say you’re in charge, the global caliphate. Let’s say this same school exists, hypothetically. What would the school uniform be?”

    “Of course the jilbab”

    “So what would say to a young girl, like Shabina, who DOESN’T want to wear the jilbab?”

    “That would be a crime”

    At that point the barrister didn’t know what to say “er..that’s not something we agree with”

    The host was excellent and asked good questions. My one criticism is that the mics, apart from the host’s, were awful. The sound when more than one person spoke (i.e. a lot!) was unintelligible.

    Lastly, Sunny, wear some funky colours next time.

  24. Jay Singh — on 29th March, 2006 at 6:56 pm  

    Rohin

    Did you not think it was interesting what she said virtually in her first speech? What we talked about the other day? When she said that the shalwar kameez is not Islamic because it is also worn by Hindus and Sikh women? That it is ‘Asian’ and not Islamic? The presenter pulled her up on that too, and made the point that that means most of the Muslim women are not ‘true’ Muslims then.

  25. Rohin — on 29th March, 2006 at 7:02 pm  

    Precisely – I thought of you at that very moment Jay…..

    AHEM! Right, I’m off to chop wood and spit.

  26. Adrian Sinclair — on 29th March, 2006 at 8:16 pm  

    I watched it, but I felt that Sunny was very impolite – he spoke over both other guests and didn’t allow anyone else to speak.

    Granted, it was difficult to make out what the Muslim woman was saying, but you did keep speaking over her, and the interviewer was so lame that he let you get away with murder!

    So much for freedom of expression, Sunny!

  27. Jay Singh — on 29th March, 2006 at 8:25 pm  

    Rubbish – Sunny was very polite and respectful. It is not his fault if the other person got so tongue tied and stuttering because she couldnt speak properly and was blasted away in the argument time after time. And your comment about the presenter is wrong too – he was absolutely scrupulous and fair.

  28. Sunny — on 29th March, 2006 at 8:25 pm  

    “So much for freedom of expression, Sunny!”

    I know, it’s terrible that HuT don’t allow any!

  29. David — on 29th March, 2006 at 10:13 pm  

    I tried to watch it with on Sky+, but apparently I don’t have the correct subscription. It wouldn’t let me see it. :( Sounds like it went well though. Congrats!

  30. Rohin — on 29th March, 2006 at 10:46 pm  

    I completely disagree Adrian, I don’t think Sunny was rude in the slightest, you have to be like that in a televised discussion. I will concede that the host could’ve cut a few of the occasions when more than one person tried to talk a bit shorter, but I certainly don’t think anyone got away with murder.

  31. Sid D H Arthur — on 29th March, 2006 at 11:52 pm  

    Perhaps its in the nature of things that bloggers will begin to converse like they do on comments lists: by being rude, ad-hominems, no regard for the other’s point of view, reserve the right to completely re-interprate the other’s point of view, mis-representation and my personal fave, throw in the race card! ;o)

  32. Abu Sayf — on 30th March, 2006 at 12:21 am  

    Responding to this point:
    ‘But in the HuT caliphate Muslims won’t have freedom to interpret their religion how they want to, will they? Does that mean you’re not civilised?’

    Excuse me look at your question, its biased and leading, for you surely you want people to side with you.
    Before i start i would like to ask you the question what do you know about Islam not what was told by media but something that is related by Islamic sources. And what do you know about the history of Islam to state such offensive questions.
    Answering your question within the Caliphate of the muslims there was obviously different interpretations to some issues with Islam.- And within this the high scholars of the beginning generations layed down all the views and understanding behind certain issues and in arabic is called fiqh. The normal average man cannot make pass laws with him having authority or knowledge. and what are you talking about freedom its not like the state is obressing the people like the western nations. And not only that in islamic states taxes is forbidden under the rule of the Caliphate.
    Here in the west they tax you nearly for every thing your life becomes compact your pushed to a corner, sometimes you can get bank rupt. And sooner or later they may even tax the air we breath in.
    The caliphate is the government of the Islamic empire all people of different races and religion live under this just rule. As long as these people don’t rebel or attack fellow man, its the duty of the Caliphate to protect the people.
    People what ever religion you are doesn’t your faith enourage its followers to work towards social harmony. If your insulting Islam isn’t this breaching religious laws, what would they think of you if- Jesus, Moses, Muhammad, Abraham, Adam etc (PBUT) and Guru Nanak were here.
    Islam=a peaceful way of life.
    Plz learn your history properly before making uneducated comments. Most people would think your narrow minded. Your not men with intellect.
    I can also make such comment aswell but your not our teachers we have the best example of best manners in Islam.
    During the dark ages when Islam was in light and wisedom, the west was in darkness, misguided.
    While we were establishing education, laws, language, philosophies, arts, religion, kingdoms, empires. And you call us uncivilised?
    While the rest of the world was still in the dark swinging from trees.
    If you don’t believe me go to spain and see the ruins of the muslim universities, libraries that was destroyed by the crusaders. The invented inquistors so called priests that maintain the population to have christian faith or death to those that are not. Is this civilised, is this freedom?
    Jews were butchered in spain by the christians, were did the seek refuge; they went to muslim lands and we welcomed them. This what i called civilised is also to have humanity.
    Look at The great Indian empires the sultanates people lived peace beside one another. This unfortuneately ended because of English conspiracy to destroy India its education and people. And conquer it and stell its goods is this so called english empire civilised then.
    The greatest famines and droughts occured during english occupation.
    Anywayz i could write essays but i won’t waste time as you will ignore my note. Just remember muslims are followers of the religion, and Islam is the rules and regulations to a way of life. Muslims can be good or bad lke other followers jews , xtians, hindus etc. separate these two words. And i challenge you to find an error, mistake something against humanity in Islam. Not human actions but in Islam. I would like leave with the note in the faith you believe do you truly have true conviction and have no doubts.
    I await your response patiently surely you can’t argue now. You already made a fool of your self being narrow minded.
    Finally why do you use hizb ul tahrir to represent islam for in Islam sects are forbidden. As it causes division among people. Ask sunni (teaching of the Prophet) Islamic scholars if you have any questions. For i’m not a scholar but know my things and how to conduct with people.
    Stop encouraging hatred and evil, with people like this, our world is divided. Also stop back bitting & gossips.
    Hmmmmmmmm hypocrisy and much nonsense.

  33. Sunny — on 30th March, 2006 at 1:18 am  

    Abu Sayf – have you come here to waste your time or mine? Because I’mm certainly not going to waste much time answering you.

    Excuse me look at your question, its biased and leading, for you surely you want people to side with you.

    I asked the HuT representative of their own view of what the caliphate should be like, not a general view. HuT as a group have a particular way of looking at the world and I wanted to expose that. It has nothing to do with Islam in general since HuT are a mostly marginalised group anyway.

    Anywayz i could write essays but i won’t waste time as you will ignore my note.

    Yes I will. I’ll probably delete them too since I don’t want my bandwidth or database space taken up by junk.

    Muslims can be good or bad lke other followers jews
    Yes I know, you’re mistakenly taking this as an attack on all Muslims. Try to read properly first.

    Finally why do you use hizb ul tahrir to represent islam
    I’m not, I’m just attacking Hizb ut Tahrir.

  34. Andy Fraser — on 30th March, 2006 at 4:35 pm  

    Sunny – where did you go to school – your English was not really up to scratch during the interview and it seemed like you could hardly string a coherent sentence together – is this is a medical problem?

    I think you would benefit from elocution lessons, especially if you want to continue doing broadcast interviews.

  35. Jay Singh — on 30th March, 2006 at 4:48 pm  

    Sunny spoke eloquently and beautiful, his rhetoric was stinging and accurate, made all the more apparent by the splutterings of the Pizza Hut representative he was debating with, who could hardly string a sentence together, so blasted away was she by the excellence of Sunny’s debating technique and command of language. It was entertaining to watch, but not as entertaining as embittered Pizza hut supporters coming online trying to denigrate him in such a laughably amateurish way. I understand that the humiliation was immense, but be gracious.

  36. lankan — on 30th March, 2006 at 4:56 pm  

    well said andy.

    sunny must have had a stammering problem when he was younger.

  37. Sunny — on 30th March, 2006 at 5:00 pm  

    I see the HuT supporters are coming out of the woodwork :)
    Yeah, its a bit nervous being on the camera – I’m still getting used to it. That doesn’t bother me, I still wiped the floor with Pizza HuT. That’s all that matters. :D

  38. Jay Singh — on 30th March, 2006 at 5:02 pm  

    Face it guys, your lady was humiliated and routed. She was a gibbering wreck by the end of the debate. Her face was agitated, her forehead creased with stress, she was demolished, Sunny made her say the words that condemned herself and Hizb ut Tahrir as uncivilised. It was a sight to behold. Get over it – your idiotarian ideology falls apart quicker than a matchstick man in a hurricane when it is subjected to the most basic inquiry.

  39. Jai — on 30th March, 2006 at 5:08 pm  

    If some of the commenters here really are HuT supporters, I challenge them to come out into the open here so that we can debate this issue and their aspirations directly.

    Bring it on.

  40. Don — on 30th March, 2006 at 5:42 pm  

    At least lankan had the courtesy to link to his blog (which appears to average one comment a month) rather than hide behind pseudonyms.

  41. Fe'reeha — on 30th March, 2006 at 6:10 pm  

    Sunny – where did you go to school – your English was not really up to scratch

    Ugh!
    Andy whoever you are! It is so obvious you are from HuT.

    I thnik we can all count the number of English or Chirstian name subscribers to Ptv on our tips.

    Strange, that you thought it was important to opt for Christian names while giving your input.

  42. Fe'reeha — on 30th March, 2006 at 6:12 pm  

    Also, in Dr Moeed’s shows, talking is never easy, because everyone seems to want to talk because the debate is so heated most of the times.
    Sunny did a splendid job!

  43. Fe'reeha — on 30th March, 2006 at 6:31 pm  

    By the way, Dr Nazreen quoted from Sura-e-Ahzab and I checked straight away.
    She is right, the word “jilbabeen” is infact used in the surah. But is translated as follows:
    “Oh Prophet, tell your wives and daughters to put their coverings on themselves when they go out, so they can be known as Muslim women.”
    Having Muslim identity is indeed important. Many Muslim scholars say when a woman shuns her hijab, basically, she shuns her Muslim idenity in a way that apparently there is no way to differentiate between a Muslim and non Muslim woman.
    Indeed for those who adopt it, hijab remains a matter of identity as Sunny indeed highlighted in his debate. But what Nazreen quoted does not hold strength in this case. Because Shabeena was indeed allowed to wear shalwar kameez. Ok so maybe Hut thought the modern adaptation of shalwar kameez with sleeveless shirts and tight fitting trousers is not a Muslim dress, but I am sure noone would have objected if she had worn her shalwar kameez in loose fitting.
    I have seen several women wearing loose shalwar kameez in Pakistan for religious or personal reasons and they look good in their own way.
    Shabeena already wears a long hijab which covers her chest and tummy. In fact the coat that she is wearing in her picture in the media is more fitted than religious versions of shalwar kameez.
    What Dr Nazreen was wearing yesterday on tv, is agian probably tighter than the loose versions of shalwar kameez that i have seen.
    The point is the VALUE!
    It’s not the action.
    You are told to cover up! Not cover up in a particular garment.
    If your guidelines allow you to cover up, then what is the objection?
    I guess the issue of jilbab has indeed more geographical resonance than religious as Moeed indeed pointed out in his show.

  44. David — on 30th March, 2006 at 7:34 pm  

    Sunny – where did you go to school – your English was not really up to scratch during the interview and it seemed like you could hardly string a coherent sentence together – is this is a medical problem?

    This is pretty rich from someone who can’t punctuate.

  45. Sunny — on 31st March, 2006 at 2:10 am  

    I’m disappointed that I don’t have more haters than I expected. Turns out Adrian Sinclair and Andy Fraser are the same person after some i.p. address checking.

  46. zahed — on 31st March, 2006 at 1:05 pm  

    Sunny, I didn’t get a chance to see the exchange, but I was also asked to talk about HuT on PTV Prime in October last year.

    Because of the late notice I couldn’t do it, but Zia Sardar did and both he and you handled them better than I could. From what I can tell you did a great job. Keep it up!

  47. Sunny — on 31st March, 2006 at 1:48 pm  

    Zahed – Zia Sardar is of course the big daddy when it comes to these debates. He’d wipe the floor with me if I disagreed with him on anything. Thankfully I don’t.

    I’m sure you can take HuT on mate, practice makes perfect! ;)

  48. abu Shuayb — on 31st March, 2006 at 6:31 pm  

    Hey Sunny are you a Sikh?

  49. Jay Singh — on 31st March, 2006 at 6:34 pm  

    Here we go….

  50. alan bold — on 3rd April, 2006 at 12:14 am  

    have u got a link to watch this on the net.

    or have u got a transcript

    please reply

  51. zahed — on 3rd April, 2006 at 4:06 pm  

    I’m sure you can take HuT on mate, practice makes perfect!

    In the States, HuT is so fringe – like Hare Krishna fringe – that no one (Muslims, included) takes them seriously. America has a way of inspiring futility if your views veer in that direction. But once I got here – whoa…

    Anyway, as a Yank in the UK, I always have to say that I don’t speak for British Muslims. Sometimes, I wish I did, though…

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