- Former leader of the radical political party Hizb-ut-Tahrir
- Palestinian cleric
- Former professor at Al-Azhar in Cairo
Abd-el Qadim Zalloum was from 1977 until his death on April 29, 2003, the leader of the worldwide Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir (“the Party of Liberation”) also known as Hibz-ut-Tahrir al-Islami (“the Islamic Party of Liberation”), outlawed in many nations that regard it as a radical, subversive and terrorist organization.
Hizb ut-Tahrir is a legal political party in the United Kingdom, where it has links to a similar radical group Al Muhajiroun.
Sheikh Zalloum was a Palestinian cleric and former professor at Al-Azhar in Cairo. He publicly named no one to succeed him as head of Hizb ut-Tahrir, so the identity of its current leader(s) became a secret.
The movement al-Hay’at al-Tahrir al-Islami (“the Islamic Society of Liberation”) was founded in Jordanian-controlled East Jerusalem in 1951 by Sheikh Taqi-ud-deen Al-Nabahani. He was a judge on Jerusalem’s Islamic appellate court and reportedly “an associate and contemporary” of the anti-Semitic, pro-Nazi Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Sheikh Hajj Amin Al-Housseini, who spent much of World War II in Berlin.
The political party Hizb-ut-Tahrir al-Islami emerged from this society in 1952-1953 and was led by Al-Nabahani until his death in 1977. His successor was Sheikh Zalloum.
Al-Nabahani had married into a wealthy family in Lebanon and used that wealth to propagate the party into other Muslim countries. One of the founders of Fatah was prior to that a founder of Hizb ut-Tahrir, as was the future “spiritual leader” of Islamic Jihad.
Hizb today, although splintered into four factions, reportedly has tens of thousands of secret members across the Muslim world, attracted by its zealous vision of a triumphant Islamic future and their own frustration with today’s ascendant Western world.
The “genius” of Al-Nabahani, wrote Heritage Foundation researcher Ariel Cohen, “was in marrying Orthodox Islamist ideology to Leninist strategy and tactics.”
Hizb ut-Tahrir, Cohen wrote, is a “totalitarian organization, akin to a disciplined Marxist-Leninist party, in which internal dissent is neither encouraged nor tolerated.” A candidate member undergoes two years of indoctrination, becoming a full member only after he “melts with the Party.” Members belong to compartmentalized cells and know the identities of only the others in that cell. “When a critical mass of cells is achieved,” wrote Cohen, “according to its doctrine, Hizb may move to take over a country in preparation for the establishment of the Caliphate.”
After the death of the Prophet Muhammad, his right-hand man Abu Bakr took the title Kalifa, Arabic for “Deputy,” as successor to the Prophet. He became the first of the four “rightly-guided” Caliphs (three of whom were murdered) who ruled with even more religious than political authority, like a Muslim half-Pope and half-emperor.
The essential concept of the Caliphate was that the Caliph rules every Muslim on earth. Every Muslim is therefore part of a single nation under divinely-given Islamic Sharia law. And it is divinely destined that someday the entire world will become Muslim and be ruled by a succession of Caliphs.
The avowed aim of Hizb ut-Tahrir is to restore and expand the Caliphate, the last vestige of which collapsed when war hero Mustafa Kemal (“Ataturk”) and his “Young Turks” overthrew the last Sultan of the Ottoman Empire and his underlings in 1923-24.
The eventual worldwide rule of the new Caliph, Al-Khalifah, Hizb ut-Tahrir teaches, will be that of a human being, fallible and prone to sin and error. “The post of the Khaleefah is decided by people and not by Allah.” The Caliph is selected, and can in theory be removed and replaced, by the Ummah, “the nation of Muslims,” a vague notion by which Hizb ut-Tahrir means an elite committee of the wise and powerful comprised entirely of men. Hizb ut-Tahrir explicits rejects Western notions of both democracy and capitalism as defective and as ways the West has colonized and subjugated Islamic nations.
The Muslim world became weak and fell under the hegemony of Western unbelievers, Hizb ut-Tahrir teaches, because the last vestige of the Caliphate was extinguished in 1924. Restoring the Caliphate and expanding its rule to the entire planet, Hizb teaches, will usher in a new global Muslim Golden Age of peace and divine harmony.
Osama bin Laden has said that the goal of Al Qaeda is to “unite all Muslims and to establish a government which follows the rule of the Caliphs.”