Islamist group accuses PA of blocking pro-Caliphate rally

Hizb ut-Tahrir says Palestinian Authority acting on orders of ‘infidels, occupiers and colonists’

Khaled Abu Toameh is the Palestinian Affairs correspondent for The Times of Israel

Supporters of Hizb ut-Tahrir demonstrate in Ramallah,  July 7, 2012 (photo credit: Issam Rimawi/Flash90)
Supporters of Hizb ut-Tahrir demonstrate in Ramallah, July 7, 2012 (photo credit: Issam Rimawi/Flash90)

The Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir (Party of Liberation) on Saturday accused the Palestinian Authority of preventing a rally it was planning to hold in Ramallah to commemorate the 97th anniversary of the destruction of the Islamic Khalifah (Caliphate).

The group accused the PA of acting on the orders of “infidels, occupiers and colonists.”

Hizb ut-Tahrir is a pan-Islamist political organization which seeks to re-establish the Islamic Caliphate to resume the Islamic way of life under Sharia law.

In a statement, Hizb ut-Tahrir said that since the early hours of Saturday morning, PA security forces set up checkpoints at the entrances to Ramallah and Al-Bireh and other West Bank cities to stop Hizb ut-Tahrir supporters from participating in the annual rally to commemorate the anniversary of the destruction of the Islamic Caliphate in 1924.

PA security forces stopped vehicles and searched for people who were on their way to the rally, the group complained.

The Caliphate refers to the political-religious state of the Muslim community in the centuries following the death of Prophet Mohammed. The last Caliphate lasted between 1517 and 1924 under the Ottoman dynasty of the Ottoman Empire.

The Islamist group, which has only a few thousand supporters in the West Bank, accused the PA of “trampling its own laws” by blocking the rally which, it added, was being held in accordance with Palestinian law.

The PA, it charged, was determined to pursue its “blind bias and war against calls for re-establishing the Caliphate.”

Last week, PA security forces used force to break up similar rallies organized by Hizb ut-Tahrir in Hebron and Jenin.

The group also accused the PA of suppressing “any voice that calls on the Islamic armies to take action to liberate Palestine.”

Noting that the PA was currently sponsoring the Ramallah Contemporary Dance Festival, an annual event, Hizb ut-Tahrir said the PA were like the “people of Lot” who rejected chastity and purity in favor of infidelity and evil. It was a reference to Lot who, according to Islamic tradition, was bestowed as a prophet to the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to stop his people from their lustful and violent acts. When the inhabitants refused to listen to him, their cities were destroyed.

“We warn the Palestinian Authority against its misdeeds, the Islamist group said. “It is living under an illusion if it thinks that it would be able to silence the voice of truth by obeying the orders of the infidels, occupiers and colonists.”

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