August 22, 2007

Growing Muslim Movement Offers Alternative to Hamas

It's the Hizb-sounding part that makes me think of -ollah. From Growing Muslim Movement Offers Alternative to Hamas:

Founded in 1953, Hizb ut-Tahrir's goal is the establishment of a worldwide caliphate, a global Islamic empire. A newly assertive Hizb ut-Tahrir (Party of Liberation) has been showing its strength across the Muslim world, most impressively drawing 100,000 people to a soccer stadium in Indonesia earlier this month. They noisily called for a return to the time of the caliphs, a line of centuries of Islamic rulers that ended with the collapse of the Ottoman Empire more than 80 years ago.

A recent rally in Ramallah in the West Bank drew tens of thousands of Palestinians. But Hizb ut-Tahrir won't try to capitalize on its new popularity in the next Palestinian elections. It teaches members that there should be no democracy, because democratic systems are a tool of Islam's chief enemy, the U.S. Nor does Hizb ut-Tahrir see value in Hamas' policy of using violence against Israel. Sending poorly armed Palestinians to fight the Israeli army is "fruitless," said Sheik Abu Abdullah. The Jewish state and its occupation of Palestinian lands will be dealt with later by the combined armies of Islam.

The movement also shrugs off Hamas' takeover of Gaza, charging that Hamas is not Islamic enough because it pursues the goal of a Palestinian state instead of a borderless caliphate. While Hizb ut-Tahrir professes non-violence, many experts believe that it serves at least as a "conveyor belt" for groups including al-Qaeda, radicalizing young Muslims who are later recruited by more violent groups.