A story about friends...
Not so long ago, I wrote about the leader of Left Front, Udal'tsov, going to the capital of Tatarstan, Kazan', to meet with members of a local radical nationalist youth league: "Azatlyk", and attempting to recruit them for the opposition cause. I have said that the media attempted to link "Azatlyk" to the international Islamist organisation, Hizb ut-Tahrir, and say that Udal'tsov hangs out with the Islamists. I have no liking for the bunch of Russophobes that "Azatlyk" are, but I do not think their platform is really Islamist.
Nevertheless, hanging out with Russophobic Tatars does not look good for Udal'tsov in any case, just like hanging out with Georgian agents does not. Browsing the internet, I found another interesting individual, who likes to hang out with ethnic and religious "friends" of all things Russian. This guy, unlike Udal'tsov, hangs out with pure, unadulterated Islamists. His personal name is Vitaliy Ponomarev, not exactly a well know personality like Udal'tsov, but he represents a rather famous organisation: "Memorial." He is their expert on Islamic movements.
It turns out that last year in August, Hizb ut-Tahrir held a conference in Moscow named: "Islam: A Call For Unity." The fact of this kind of conference taking place in the Russian capital is itself interesting. Hizb ut-Tahrir is a banned organisation in Russia. Moreover, it is not only banned but on the list of terrorist organisations. According to the source linked above, the conference did not create much noise. It seems that secret services simply let this pass.
The odd looking guy in red is Vitaliy Ponomarev of Memorial...
However, it is not always the case that security forces let such things pass, dozens of members of Hizb ut-Tahrir were arrested and jailed for membership in the group. It should not surprise us, after seeing "Memorial" people so emphatically involved in Hizb ut-Tahrir activities, that jailed Hizb ut-Tahrir members made their way to the list of "political prisoners" compiled by the so called opposition few months after this conference.
Hizb ut-Tahrir is London based, and past attempts to ban it in the UK have not been successful. This suggests that Hizb ut-Tahrir has some powerful patrons in the British establishment. "Memorial" receives funding from abroad, so their strange affinity towards Hizb ut-Tahrir might have a rational explanation.