Al-Jazeera Coverage of the Indonesia Khilafah Conference

On Sunday 12th August, the Islamic group, Hizb-ut-Tahrir Indonesia, stated that democracy is one of the main reasons why the country is lagging behind others. Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia spokesman Muhammad Ismail Yusanto said the situation had worsened since the economic crisis hit a number of Asian countries, including Indonesia, in the late 1990s. About 100,000 Muslims gathered Sunday at the Bung Karno sports stadium in Senayan, Central Jakarta, for the conference. Ismail said the establishment of an Islamic caliphate would help solve this country’s problems and increase development.

Watch the VIDEO REPORT covered by Al-Jazeera news station here Official statistics show that currently 39 million Indonesians live in poverty and 22 million people are unemployed. Millions of children also suffer from malnutrition and are unable to continue at school, Ismail added.

According to Ismail, the establishment of the caliphate would mark the application of sharia in all aspects of life and the reunification of Muslim countries all over the world.

Muhammadiyah chairman Din Syamsuddin said that non-muslims did not have to be afraid of the discourse on Khilafah. “Khilafah is a good Islamic teaching. We shouldn’t reject it,” he said.

Both Ismail and Din also stated that Hizbut Tahrir was strongly against violence. They urged the international community to be fair in its treatment of Hizb ut Tahrir as a Muslim group.
“Hizbut Tahrir doesn’t support any (form of) radicalism, especially not terrorism,” Din stated.

Hizbut Tahrir was founded in Baitul Maqdis, Palestine, in 1953. It is banned in several Arab and Asian countries, but Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia has grown rapidly in recent years since its arrival here in the early 1980s.

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