David Cameron may find it more difficult than he imagines to ban Hizb-ut-Tahrir.
He is right that it is a deeply unpleasant organisation committed to the destruction of western democracy and its replacement with a totalitarian system based on “sharia law”. Many young Muslims have been persuaded by this warped version of Islam.
Mr Cameron is also right that there is a strain of antisemitism running through the rhetoric of HT that should not go unopposed.It should certainly not receive government funding.
But in opposition it is all too easy to promise tough action on extremism. In government the Tories will have to face the practicality of proscribing such groups. There is no evidence that HT is a terrorist group or that it promotes violence in the UK.
It is very unlikely that the Conservatives will be able to use existing legislation to ban the group.
This raises the question of new anti-extremist legislation that goes beyond the proscription of organisations that actively promote violence or encourage terrorism. This is very dangerous civil liberties territory that could all too easily tip into the proscription of organisations that promote military resistance to oppressive regimes.