Fast forwarding to the 21st century, Villy Søvndal was elected SF party chairperson in 2005. Søvndal has been extremely critical of Islamist groups, especially Hizb-ut-Tahrir (one of the main "radical" groups featured in a recent Pew Foundation report on Islamism in Europe). Under Søvndal's leadership, the SF has made dramatic gains in terms of votes, parliamentary representation, party membership, and in media coverage.
Although hardly a household name in the US, Hizb-ut-Tahrir is well known in Europe. According to the Pew report (linked to above), Hizb-ut-Tahrir is especially strong in the UK and Denmark, and also has a significant presence among Muslims in Germany, although the group is banned there due to its open anti-Semitism.
Ideologically, Hizb-ut-Tahrir espouses an extreme form of Islamism (by anyone's definition). They call for a world-wide Islamic Caliphate in which non-Muslims will be systematically denied all basic political rights. They explicitly reject, even in theory, the idea of freedom of religion. The group's constitution states that "the primary role of a woman is that of a mother and wife." Hizb-ut-Tahrir claims to be non-violent, but in the end they seek the same goals as Al-Qaeda and other Islamist terrorist groups.
Now the SF have released a new video denouncing Hizb-ut-Tahrir. The video was produced to respond to a conference organized by Hizb-ut-Tahrir that was held in Denmark earlier this month. You can see the video, in Danish with English subtitles, at the Gates of Vienna blog: The Socialist People's Party Speaks Out Against Islam.
- SF has fought for freedom for 50 years, and I am so fed up with listening to extremist religious groups like Hizb-ut-Tahrir and their rubbish about no freedom.
- They are a bunch of benighted, reactionary, religious relics of the past. They want to subvert democracy and abolish our freedoms. And we will not stand for that.
- We must clearly denounce an inhuman view of women and a legal system based on centuries old scriptures. This has no place in Denmark, neither today nor in the future.
- We in the SF believe in making room for all who want to play on the field of democracy in Danish society. But at the same time, we clearly denounce extremists and fanatics. There is no place for them in Danish society.