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Islamists urge caliphate revival

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Nicole Jimmelson
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« on: August 12, 2007, 04:22:33 am »

Islamists urge caliphate revival  


 
Most of the 80,000 who attended the conference were Indonesian
Some 80,000 Islamists have met in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, to press for the re-establishment of a caliphate across the Muslim world.
The Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir - which organised the conference - said it had been the largest gathering of Muslim activists from around the world.

However, the group is illegal in many countries and key speakers have been stopped from entering Indonesia.

A caliphate - or single state for Muslims - last existed in 1924.

Hizb ut-Tahrir regards this as the ideal form of government, because it follows the laws of God as set out in the Koran, rather than laws designed by man.

The groups says it seeks to set up a caliphate by non-violent means - but many experts see it as ideologically close to jihadist groups.

It is banned in most of the Middle East and parts of Europe.

 HIZB UT-TAHRIR
Founded in the 1950s by Palestinian jurist Taqiuddin an-Nabhani
Active across the Middle East, central and south-east Asia and, increasingly, Europe
Seeks a caliphate, or single state, across the Muslim world
Banned in most Middle-Eastern countries


Q&A: Hizb ut-Tahrir 
The BBC's Lucy Williamson in Jakarta says that of the estimated 80,000 people packing the stadium hired for the event, the overwhelming majority were women, who have travelled from across Indonesia to attend.

The line up of speakers dwindled by the day. However, our correspondent says, this did nothing to dampen the mood of those attending.

But the group says at least two activists who had been asked to speak - one from Britain and another from Australia - were barred by the Indonesian government.

Security fears

Abdul Wahid, the group's chairman in Britain, said in a statement: "Hizb ut-Tahrir has spearheaded a crucial debate on the future for the Muslim world - an alternative to corruption and dictatorship.

 

Key speakers were barred from travelling to Indonesia
"We hear endless rhetoric about a battle of ideas but the only actions we see are bans, smears and an attempt to silence debate."

Controversial Indonesian cleric Abu Bakar Ba'asyir was also scheduled to address the conference, but organisers asked him not to attend after police raised security concerns.

Hizb ut-Tahrir - or Liberation Party - was founded in Jerusalem in the 1950s by Palestinian religious scholar Taqiuddin an-Nabhani.

Today it has a mainly clandestine following in the Middle East, a large presence in Central Asia - where hundreds of its members have been jailed - and active supporters in the West, including London, which is believed to be one of its main bases.

Many experts see it as ideologically close to violent jihadist groups, and suspect its commitment to peaceful means is purely tactical.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/6942688.stm
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