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Lebanon: The Islamic group called Takfir wa al-Hijra or Hijra wa Takfir, including its geographical location, its activities and treatment of its members by the government authorities; whether there are factions or members of this group in the Lebanese community in Latin America (2000-July 2004)

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 23 July 2004
Citation / Document Symbol LBN42851.FE
Reference 1
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Lebanon: The Islamic group called Takfir wa al-Hijra or Hijra wa Takfir, including its geographical location, its activities and treatment of its members by the government authorities; whether there are factions or members of this group in the Lebanese community in Latin America (2000-July 2004) , 23 July 2004, LBN42851.FE , available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/41501c2b7.html [accessed 23 August 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

The organization Takfir wa al-Hijra, also known as Al-Takfir wal Hijra (Weekend Australian 20 Sept. 2003; AFP 3 Jan. 2000) or Takfir wal Hijra (Los Angeles Times 23 May 2004; National Post 14 Sept. 2002), meaning "redemption and dawn of Islam" (Weekend Australian 20 Sept. 2003; AFP 3 Jan. 2000) or [translation] "excommunication and exile" (Le Temps 26 Nov. 2002), is a Sunni Islamic fundamentalist group (Weekend Australian 20 Sept. 2003; AFP 3 Jan. 2000).

Founded in Egypt in 1960 by the Islamic Muslim Brotherhood movement (Los Angeles Times 23 May 2004), Takfir wa al-Hijra is, according to some sources, linked to the terrorist group al-Qaida and Osama Bin Laden (The Christian Science Monitor 20 May 2003; National Post 14 Sept. 2002; AP 23 Oct. 2001). It was also involved in the assassination of former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in October 1981 (United States Department of State 11 Aug. 2001).

Factions of this Islamic group also exist in Europe, North Africa (Los Angeles Times 23 May 2004), Jordan (Le Temps 26 Nov. 2002), and Lebanon (Weekend Australian 20 Sept. 2003; Al-Majallah 29 Sept. 2002). In a report on al-Qaida, published by the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies, the author indicated that al-Qaida used two organizations to infiltrate Europe and North America, one of which was Takfir wal Hijra (May 2003, 2). An article in the Los Angeles Times reported that many of the suspects accused of perpetrating the attacks on the trains in Spain in March 2004 belonged to Takfir wa al-Hijra (23 May 2004).

With regard to Lebanon, The Christian Science Monitor indicated in a 20 May 2003 article that some Takfir wa al-Hijra members in the Dinnieh mountains in the northeast of the country (APS Diplomat 19 Mar. 2001) had been arrested by government authorities for mounting a series of bomb attacks against western targets, particularly restaurants in Beirut and in Tripoli, a city located in northern Lebanon. Other articles published between 2000 and 2003 reported that this fundamentalist group in northern Lebanon had launched attacks against the Lebanese army (Weekend Australian 20 Sept. 2003; Al-Majallah 29 Sept. 2002; National Post 14 Sept. 2002; AP 23 Oct. 2001; AFP 25 Sept. 2000; ibid. 3 Jan. 2000). Moreover, a 23 September 2000 Agence France Presse (AFP) article indicated that Al-Takfir wal Hijra had threatened to [translation] "eliminate" eight Christian Lebanese deputies in the north of the country unless some of its members were released from prison.

According to the Terrorist Watch Web site, Takfir Wal Hijra advocates the brutal torture and murder not only of "infidels" but also of Muslims who do not adhere to the Takfir doctrines (n.d.). A press release issued by the Embassy of the United States in New Delhi indicated that the "Sudanese government detained several individuals linked to the publication of an alleged 'hit list' attributed to the terrorist group al-Takfir wa al-Hijra. The list called for the killing of . . . Sudanese Christian and leftist politicians, jurists, journalists, and others" (Embassy of the United States of America 29 Apr. 2004). An AFP article reported that members of Takfir wa al-Hijra [translation] "rejected government authority in Muslim countries and called for a strict application of Shari'ah law" (3 Jan. 2000). Furthermore, this Islamic group declared that King Abdallah of Jordan and other Jordanian government officials were guilty of apostasy, a crime punishable by death (Le Temps 26 Nov. 2002).

No information on whether there are any factions or members of Takfir wa al-Hijra in Latin American countries could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References

Agence France Presse (AFP). 25 September 2000. "Islamist Threat on Lebanese MPs a Hoax, Fundamentalists Say." (Dialog)

_____. 23 September 2000. "Une organisation intégriste menace de 'liquider' 8 députés chrétiens." (Dialog)

_____. 3 January 2000. "Les mouvements fondamentalistes sunnites au Liban nord." (Dialog)

Al-Majallah [London], in Arabic. 29 September 2002. "Lebanon's Usbat Al-Ansar Reportedly to Secure Escape of Wanted Lebanese." (Dialog)

APS Diplomat Redrawing the Islamic Map. 19 March 2001. Vol. 41, No. 3. "Syria - Recent Developments in Militancy (Brief Article)." (Dialog)

Associated Press (AP). 23 October 2001. Hussein Dakroub. "Two Lebanese Charged with Plotting to Attack U.S. Targets in Mideast." (Dialog)

Christian Science Monitor. 20 May 2003. Nicholas Blanford. "Lebanon Targets Islamic Radicals." (Dialog)

Embassy of the United States of America. New Delhi. 29 April 2004. "Some States Renounce Support for Terrorist Activities." [Accessed 21 July 2004]

Institute of Defence and Stategic Studies [Madrid]. May 2003. Rohan Gunaratna. "Al Qaeda's Tragectory in 2003." [Accessed 19 July 2004]

Los Angeles Times. 23 May 2004. Sebastian Rotella. "Madrid Bombings Tied to Drug Trade Extremists Formed Ties With Criminal Underworld." (Dialog)

National Post [Toronto]. 14 September 2002. Stewart Bell. "One Canadian Freed, Second Held in Lebanon: Accused of Terrorism." (Dialog)

Le Temps. 26 November 2002. Samuel Gardaz. "La violence brouille l'image de la Jordanie, alliée fiable de l'Occident face à l'Irak." (NEXIS)

Terrorist Watch. n.d. "Al-Qai'da's Current Goal: The Takfir Doctrine" [Accessed 20 July 2004]

United States Department of State. 11 August 2001. "State Department Chronology on Terrorist Incidents 1961-2001." [Accessed 21 July 2004]

Weekend Australian. 20 September 2003. Catherine Taylor. "Extremists Refuse to Let Nation Live in Peace." (Dialog)

Additional Sources Consulted

Publications: Mondes rebelles; Resource Centre country files for Lebanon, Brazil, Venezuela and Ecuador.

Internet sites, including: Dialog, Ecoi.net, ReliefWeb, United Nations, United States Department of State.

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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