90,000 Militant Muslims gather in Jakarta

Sydney Morning Herald, August, 2007

A member of Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia shouts "Allahu Akbar!" (God is great).

Nearly 90,000 followers of a hardline Muslim group have packed a stadium in the Indonesian capital Jakarta, calling for the creation of an Islamic state and thunderously chanting "Allah is great!".

Hizb ut-Tarhir, a Sunni organisation with an estimated one million members, is banned in some Asian and Arab countries, but drew supporters from Europe, Africa and the Middle East to Indonesia for a meeting of the group that is held every two years.

Speeches called for the return of the caliphate, or Islamic statehood, across the Muslim world. The crowd, divided into sections for women and men, roared in support.

"We need to carry this message from every corner from the east to west, so that on judgment day we can be proud," said Salim Frederick of Hizb ut-Tarhir's English branch ...

Indonesian Muslim youth from the hard-line Islamic group Hizbut Tahrir wave black and white flags with the religious writing that reads 'There is no God but God, and Mohammed is his prophet' ...


Hizb ut-Tahrir is a transnational Sunni group that says it shuns violence, but it has been outlawed or restricted in Germany , Russia and parts of the Middle East and Central Asia. The British government said it planned to ban the group after the July 2005 London bombings, although it has not yet happened.

Muhammad Ismail Yusanto, the group's Indonesian spokesman, said on the sidelines of the meeting that the group rejects democracy, because sovereignty is in the hands of Allah, not the people.

In a statement, he called secularism "the mother of all destruction," and he called on all Muslims to join the struggle to implement Islam and Islamic law.

Most of those attending were said to be Indonesians, although supporters of the group also came from the Middle East, Africa and Europe ...

In an opinion survey earlier this year of attitudes in four key Muslim countries -- Egypt, Morocco, Pakistan and Indonesia -- University of Maryland pollsters found 36 percent of respondents "strongly" in favor of "unify[ing] all Islamic countries into a single Islamic state or Caliphate."

Scholars say a caliphate has not existed in any form since 1924, when Turkish leader Mustafa Kemal Ataturk formerly abolished the institution, following the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire during and after World War I ...

Hizb ut-Tahrir was founded in 1953 by a Palestinian Arab and works openly -- except in those countries where it is proscribed -- for the revival of the caliphate. Even regimes like the one ruling Saudi Arabia are not sufficiently Islamic for the group.

"It can, in no way, be claimed that any of the current Muslim countries are representative of Islam and the Islamic system of government which is the Islamic [caliphate]," it group says on a website.

Hizb ut-Tahrir spokesmen insist it does not promote violence, but experts regard it as dangerous.

Heritage Foundation scholar Ariel Cohen has described it as "a clandestine, cadre-operated, radical Islamist political organization" that is "transnational, secretive, and extremist in its anti-Americanism."

"Like al-Qaeda, it [Hizb ut-Tahrir] advocates an Islamic Caliphate in which [Islamic law] will be supreme, but says it wants to achieve it through peaceful mass agitations and not by resort to terrorism or other acts of armed violence," according to South Asian political and security analyst Bahukutumbi Raman. "What the al-Qaeda seeks to propagate through jihadi terrorism, it propagates through political means."

"[Hizb ut-Tahrir ] is not a terrorist organization, but it can usefully be thought of as a conveyor belt for terrorists," Zeyno Baran, director of the Center for Eurasian Policy at the Hudson Institute, wrote in 2005. "It indoctrinates individuals with radical ideology, priming them for recruitment by more extreme organizations where they can take part in actual operations."

Indonesian Muslims with the hard-line Islamic group Hizbut Tahrir shout slogans ... and thunderously chanting 'Allah is great!'
The Brunei Times
Supporters of caliphate told to fight secularism

MUSLIM activists seeking the revival of Islamic world leadership turned a conference on caliphate here yesterday into a platform for their call for the implementation of shariyah and for a united fight against secularism.

... they are "calling on all Muslims, leaders of organisations, scholars, students, military and police members to earnestly implement Islam and its shariyah (and to) struggle or support the struggle to establish it".

"We are calling (for) the fight against secularism (because it is) the mother of all destruction, and for a stop to all filthy practices such as corruption, the spread of porn through the media," according to Ismail Yusanto, the spokesperson of Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia. "We are also calling on the Muslims to stand up and (be) united to establish shariyah, revive the Khilafah Islamiyyah 'ala Minhajin Nubuwwah (the Islamic caliphate based on the Prophetic tradition) that will bring a blessing for the universe and restore izzul Islam was Muslimin (the dignity of Islam and Muslim.)" ...

"Intellectually, the Muslim ummah is facing poisons such as secularism, liberalism, pluralism" he said. "The Muslim community also suffers from one setback after the other and we are witnessing how our brethren in Palestine continue to languish, much the way our brothers suffer in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosovo, Chechnya, Dagestan, Jammu Kashmir, Thailand and the Philippines."

By all evidence, "the Muslim ummah is indeed suffering from backwardness," Ismail said, quoting a hadith in which the Prophet described the suffering of the Muslim ummah on the hand of their enemies because of their own affliction known as al-wahn (a love for the world while fearing death overly.) Khilafah is the remedy for this situation, he said ...

The Jakarta Post
Islamist group blames democracy for Indonesia's woes

Despite a national consensus that a democratic system of government is the best solution for Indonesia, an Islamist group says democracy is one of the main reasons why the country is lagging behind others.

Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia spokesman Muhammad Ismail Yusanto said ... "What has democracy brought us?" asked Ismail during a press conference at the International Caliphate Conference here Sunday.

"Democracy only brings us secular policies, like what's happening nowadays," he told reporters, while referring to secularism as being against sharia ...

Ismail said the establishment of an Islamic caliphate would help solve this country's problems and increase development.

Official statistics show that currently 39 million Indonesians live in poverty and 22 million people are unemployed.

Millions of children also suffer from malnutrition and are unable to continue at school, Ismail added.

According to Ismail, the establishment of the caliphate would mark the application of sharia in all aspects of life and the reunification of Muslim countries all over the world.

The concept of implementing sharia in Indonesia is not new. During the constitutional debates of 1945, a clause on sharia was briefly incorporated into the constitution, but was then quickly dropped from the draft ...

Yahoo Photos

"Who will say with confidence that sexual abuse is more permanently damaging to children than threatening them with the eternal and unquenchable fires of hell?"

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