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'Anti-West' meeting clears scrutiny
A report in Bedford Today on the meeting of Hizb ut-Tahrir which took place on Tuesday evening.
On Tuesday evening the Hizb ut-Tahrir political party hosted a meeting at Queens Park Community Centre about a perceived bias by Western governments against Muslims.
The meeting was entitled 'The Campaign To Destroy Islam'.
Two speakers gave lectures to an audience of around 90 people.
One spoke about the abolition of the Muslim caliphate, or political leadership, in 1924. The other talked about Islamic values, and called for Muslims to reject "Western" concepts such as democracy and homosexuality.
The community centre is owned by Bedford Borough Council but is run by an indepedent committee.
A spokesman for the council said: "We have had no involvement in this meeting taking place. However, we work with all local communities to create a cleaner, greener, safer and more inclusive borough." I think that is the most stupid comment I have heard from an official since I was retired.
A Beds Police spokesman said: "This is a legal political group which has been meeting on a regular basis for some time – we are in regular contact with them and officers have previously attended their meetings.
"It is not part of the police role to have view on the political opinions of the public and the police do not have the power to ban public meetings."
Hizb ut-Tahrir spokesman Taji Mustaffa said: "Who we are, and the work we do in the local community, is well-known. We call for Muslims to engage in debate and we address issues.
"Islam is under the spotlight and the government appears to be pursuing policies of concern to the Muslim community. People come to our meetings, they give their views, and it is part of a vibrant discussion we have in our community. I think that is something everyone would welcome."