Indonesia: Muslim body calls for military support to establish caliphate

Here it the text of an article attributed to Antara news agency entitled: "HTI calls for unity for caliphate"; published by Indonesian newspaper Republika on 3 September 2005.
Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI) has called upon Muslims and the group's supporters, particularly from the military, to fight for an Islamic caliphate.
"Hizbut Tahrir calls on you, including those who are from the military, to establish a caliphate together with Hizbut Tahrir, starting now," the HTI Chairman KH [religious title] Muhammad Al Khaththath said in front of 5,000 Muslims gathered at Al-Azhar Grand Mosque in Jakarta on 2 September.

He stressed that Muslim unity in Indonesia and the world will make Islamic followers become strong, so they would be able to establish an Islamic government resembling that of the era of Prophet Muhammad and his successor caliphs. Meanwhile, HTI spokesman Ismail Yusanto said that this mass gathering was intended to remind Muslims of the Islamic government system or caliphate as one of the most important Islamic teachings. A caliphate would become a main pillar for the full implementation of Islamic law and Muslim unity in the world.

"The idea of a caliphate has been buried in the history books for a long time. We are trying to remind people that we, as Islamic followers, must establish a caliphate," said Yusanto. Commenting on the establishme! nt of a caliphate in Indonesia, he said that HTI would continue to build awareness, and finally, the idea [caliphate] will be implemented. "Indonesia is a part of the Islamic world and the most populous Muslim country. When there is people's awareness and a demand, as well as support from those who are from politics and the military, this idea will be implemented," he said.

According to him, HTI also organized similar mass gatherings in 100 cities, including Jakarta, Bandung, Bogor, and Bekasi, at the same time. Islamic followers and HTI supporters attended these events. He said this mass gathering was also aimed at commemorating the fall of the Utsmaniyah Caliphate in Turkey in 1924, as well as Isra Mi'raj [The night journey and ascension of prophet Muhammad].

The mass gathering presented the chairman of the Al-Azhar Foundation, KH Rusydi Hamka; member of the advisory council board of the Indonesian Mujahidin Council (MMI) Abu Jibr! il Abdurrahman; the chairman of the Committee for Worldwide Islamic Solidarity; the chairman of the Indonesian Islamic Propagation Council (DDII), Hussein Umar; and the chairman of the Indonesian Council of Ulama, (MUI) KH Kholil Ridwan; as speakers.

Ismail Yusanto said he hoped that with this mass gathering Islamic followers would recognize Islam as a part of Muslim life.