Sunday, May 14, 2006

The Caliphate: "One nation, under Allah..."

The Christian Science Monitor ran a chilling article a few days ago in which the author interviews members of Hizb ut-Tahrir, a Muslim group banned in many countries which advocates unification of all Muslim nations under a revived Caliphate: The Caliphate: One nation, under Allah, with 1.5 billion Muslims

Hizb ut-Tahrir gets little notice here in the west, mainly because terrorist attacks aren't generally carried out directly under their name. But given their teachings, it's likely that a fair number of known Islamic terrorist organizations are offshoots of HuT.

A few sample quotes from the article (all emphasis mine):
"[President] Bush says that we want to enslave people and oppress their freedom of speech," says Abu Abdullah, a senior member of Hizb ut-Tahrir, the Party of Liberation. "But we want to free all people from being slaves of men and make them slaves of Allah."

"The Caliphate is a rallying point between the radicals and the more moderate Islamists," says Stephen Ulph, a senior fellow at the Jamestown Foundation. "The idea of a government based on the Caliphate has a historical pedigree and Islamic legitimacy that Western systems of government by their very nature do not have." ["moderate Islamists"? Aren't Islamists by nature radical? --ed.]

"We spread our ideas by addressing people directly," says Abdullah Shakr, a fluent English-speaker, who, like all three men, spent time in Jordanian jails for membership in the party. "We don't care if the government knows about us, but ... we try not to catch their attention."

"The Muslim world has resources like oil but it lacks the leadership that will rule us by Islamic law and make this jihad that the whole world is afraid of," says Shakr, a Jordanian member of the group, who says the success of the Caliphate will also encourage more converts to Islam - eventually making the whole world Islamic.
And now for the money shot:

"Islam obliges Muslims to possess power so that they can intimidate - I would not say terrorize [no, of course you wouldn't --ed.] - the enemies of Islam," says Abu Mohammed, a Hizb ut-Tahrir activist. "In the beginning, the Caliphate would strengthen itself internally and it wouldn't initiate jihad."

"But after that we would carry Islam as an intellectual call to all the world," says Abu Mohammed, a pseudonym. "And we will make people bordering the Caliphate believe in Islam. Or if they refuse then we'll ask them to be ruled by Islam."

And after that? Abu Mohammed pauses and fiddles with his Pepsi before replying.

"And if after all discussions and negotiations they still refuse, then the last resort will be a jihad to spread the spirit of Islam and the rule of Islam," he says, smiling. "This is done in the interests of all people to get them out of darkness and into light."

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