According to this AP story from yesterday, the latest effort to revive the Caliphate is taking place in Indonesia, under the inspiration of Hizb ut-Tahrir:
Hard-Line Muslim Meeting Draws 90,000 Followers, Calls For Islamic State
JAKARTA, Indonesia — Nearly 90,000 followers of a hard-line Muslim group packed a stadium in the Indonesian capital Sunday, calling for the creation of an Islamic state and thunderously chanting “Allah is great!”
Hizbut Tahrir, a Sunni organization with an estimated 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 Hizbut Tahrir’s English branch.
The group, though radical, does not support violence to obtain its objective.
Though Hizbut Tahrir’s rallies are usually peaceful, the U.S. Embassy last week cautioned its citizens against going near the gathering, noting that some recent demonstrations in Indonesia — the world’s most populous Muslim nation — have turned violent.
Calling Hizb ut-Tahrir a “Sunni organization” is like calling the IRA a “Catholic organization”. It is true in a narrow sense, but obscures more than it illuminates.
Hizb ut-Tahrir means “Party of Liberation” in Arabic. The party was founded by Sheikh Taqiuddin al-Nabhani, a judge from Jerusalem, in 1953. It has declared that its mission is to purify Islam, re-establish the Caliphate, and spread the word of the Prophet throughout the world until the Ummah encompasses the entire globe. Its message differs little in substance from those of Al Qaeda, Jamaat ul-Fuqra, Jemaah al-Islamiya, and innumerable other radical Islamic groups.
As I pointed out last year, the ideological rhetoric employed by Hizb ut-Tahrir bears more than a passing resemblance to that of the Communists. There is the same emphasis on removing from the Party the pernicious influence of impure doctrine, the same absolute commitment to the overthrow of the existing political system, the same anticipation of the coming Utopia once the Party is victorious.
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As for the assertion that Hizb ut-Tahrir “does not support violence to obtain its objective” — well, of course it doesn’t.
The party has already been banned in numerous Islamic countries. If it wants to avoid the same fate in the remaining Western countries in which it is yet unbanned, it needs to maintain a clean and unthreatening image.
But the assertion of non-violence in the AP article is disingenuous. Given that the account is written by someone named Zakki Hakim, the depiction of the Jakarta event may not be an entirely disinterested one.
So let’s look at the official mission statement of Hizb ut-Tahrir. The website from which the following quotes were drawn has since disappeared, but the same text is preserved here.
First, concerning the political activities of the party:
What is manifested in these political actions is culturing the Ummah with the Islamic culture in order to melt her with Islam and to cleanse her of the corrupt creeds, false thoughts and erroneous concepts including the influence of Kufr thoughts and opinions.
What is also manifested in these political actions is an intellectual and political struggle. The manifestation of an intellectual struggle is through the struggle against the thoughts and systems of Kufr. It is also manifested in the struggle against false thoughts, corrupt creeds and erroneous concepts by demonstrating their corruption, showing their error and presenting clearly the verdict of Islam concerning them.
So Hizb ut-Tahrir is going to “struggle”, but the struggle will be non-violent. What forms do non-violent Islamic struggle take? Can you think of any? Sit-ins? Civil disobedience? Lying down in the road in front of tanks?
And remember, when the party struggles against Kufr, that’s you and me.
Here’s a handy bulleted breakdown of the different aspects of the struggle:
- A struggle against the Kufr colonialist states which have domination and influence on the Islamic countries. The challenge against colonialism in all its intellectual, political, economic and military forms, involves exposing its plans, and revealing its conspiracies in order to deliver the Ummah from its control and to liberate it from any effect of its influence.
- A struggle against the rulers in the Arab and Muslim countries, by exposing them, taking them to task, acting to change them whenever they denied the rights of the Ummah or neglected to perform their duty towards her, or ignored any of her affairs, and whenever they disagreed with the rules of Islam, and acting also to remove their regimes so as to establish the Islamic rule in its place.
- To assume the interests of the Ummah and to adopt its affairs in accordance with the Shari’ah rules.
Once again, how to “liberate” the Ummah from its colonialist oppressors? If the oppressors don’t cooperate, what’s the next step? Absent violence, what does the struggle do then?
Also, the second of the above points makes it clear why Hizb ut-Tahrir has been banned in Arab countries. The party may have hoodwinked the useful idiots of the West, but the despots of the Islamic world are not so foolish.
[Hizb ut-Tahrir’s] aim is to resume the Islamic way of life and to convey the Islamic da’wah to the world. This objective means bringing the Muslims back to living an Islamic way of life in Dar al-Islam and in an Islamic society such that all of life’s affairs in society are administered according to the Shari’ah rules, and the viewpoint in it is the halal and the haram under the shade of the Islamic State, which is the Khilafah State. That state is the one in which Muslims appoint a Khaleefah and give him the bay’ah to listen and obey on condition that he rules according to the Book of Allah (swt) and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (saw) and on condition that he conveys Islam as a message to the world through da’wah and jihad.
The Party, as well, aims at the correct revival of the Ummah through enlightened thought. It also strives to bring her back to her previous might and glory such that she wrests the reins of initiative away from other states and nations, and returns to her rightful place as the first state in the world, as she was in the past, when she governs the world according to the laws of Islam.
It also aims to bring back the Islamic guidance for mankind and to lead the Ummah into a struggle with Kufr, its systems and its thoughts so that Islam encapsulates the world.
Short version: Hizb ut-Tahrir will clean house among its Islamic brethren first. After getting their minds right, then it will take the struggle to the Kufr, by some as yet unspecified means.
The fact that the Party does not use material power to defend itself or as a weapon against the rulers is of no relevance to the subject of jihad, because jihad has to continue till the Day of Judgement. So whenever the disbelieving enemies attack an Islamic country it becomes compulsory on its Muslim citizens to repel the enemy.
Now we come to the heart of the matter: when the Ummah is attacked by unbelievers, Muslims have a duty to fight back.
And we all remember what constitutes an “attack” against the Ummah. It’s not just the infidel armies in Iraq, or the attempt to keep Iran from getting the bomb, or the treatment of the Palestinian martyrs by the Zionist entity.
- Printing caricatures of Mohammed is an attack on Islam.
- Prohibiting the wearing of headscarves by schoolgirls is an attack on Islam.
- Requiring taxi drivers to carry passengers who have alcohol or are accompanied by dogs is an attack on Islam.
- Shutting down “charities” that fund terrorist groups is an attack on Islam.
These, and countless other offenses against the honor of Islam, will eventually require a violent response on the part of faithful Muslims everywhere.
In the meantime, Hizb ut-Tahrir will clean house. The House of Islam, that is.
It’s time for a good old-fashioned Revival.
Starting in Indonesia.