GayandRight

My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (www.freethinkingfilms.com)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

A Major New Threat....

I just wish the Palestinians would have a 'peace' party...
By day, they are the middle class, putting in days as mild-mannered teachers, factory supervisors and office clerks.

But by night, the growing number of supporters of Hizb ut-Tahrir, the Islamic fundamentalists who reject modern democracy in favour of a pan-Islamic religious caliphate, are gathering in the West Bank to recruit the thousands who have grown disillusioned with the vicious stand-off between the secular Fatah and Islamist Hamas.

"Any person living in Palestine now realises political parties, especially the Islamic ones, have not achieved anything for the individual," said Sheikh Abu Abdullah, a thin-framed man with a wiry beard.

His is the commanding voice behind weekly Hizb lessons at the al-Faruq mosque in the middle-class suburb of Kfar Aqab, past a crowded Israeli checkpoint where east Jerusalem melds into Ramallah.

About 50 men, young and old, stayed after evening prayers this week to listen to the sheikh's lesson entreating them to follow the Koran and stop infidels from profiting at the expense of the poor - one of an estimated hundreds or thousands of mosques in the West Bank and east Jerusalem where Hizb ut-Tahrir now teaches every week.

Though difficult to estimate their membership, a rally earlier this month in Ramallah drew at least 10,000 and, by some estimates, up to 40,000 people; their posters are plastered on every wall in the city centre.

"Any talk about a return to the caliphate, any talk about a return to religious values is something that is attractive to people," said Majid Abu Malah, 55, an Arabic-language teacher who attends regularly.

He, like many others, says he has given up on both Hamas and Fatah, and will not vote in the next election. "I believe in what [Hizb ut-Tahrir] gives."

Hizb ut-Tahrir, founded in Jerusalem in 1953 but largely dormant until recent years, is banned in dozens of countries, though it is legal and has a strong presence in Britain.

Its platform calls for the eventual overthrowing of Arab-world governments to be replaced by a caliphate, which would also encompass Israel.

The organisation argues that it does not advocate violence; however, it has been accused of inciting racism and hatred, and is known for activities such as demonstrations against cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed last year.

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