Muslim group won’t be banned

A radical Muslim cleric has urged hundreds of supporters meeting in Sydney’s south-west to join a global push to create an Islamic utopia.

Indonesian firebrand cleric Ismail Yusanto outlined his plan for instituting Sharia law, the absolute form of Islam, to a crowd of about 500 people gathered at the Khilafah Conference in Lakemba.

The meeting was organised by the Australian arm of the extremist group Hizb ut-Tahrir, a group widely known for its anti-democratic, anti-Semitic views.

The group believes that it can reduce suffering around the globe by introducing Sharia law and creating an Islamic utopia.

Hizb ut-Tahrir

Hizb ut-Tahrir translates as “party of liberation.” The movement’s aim is to unite all Muslim countries under a single ruler, and subject to Sharia (Islamic) law.

The NSW Government has called on the Commonwealth to follow several European and Middle Eastern countries and ban the group.

Dr Yusanto called on followers to denounce capitalism, warning that if Islam was not followed in his Islamic super-state, jihad would follow.

From the nationalisation of utilities for the on-going funding of a jihadist army to fighting off an ensuing American-led invasion, he told the audience never to let pessimism enter their minds when seeking a utopian state of Islam not seen since 1924.

“Once the program is ready it must be implemented as soon as possible,” Dr Yusanto said.

“Once successful, the new order would be just the beginning of the new era in the application of Islamic ideology.”

The cleric went on to remind his listeners of the ultimate sacrifice in achieving a utopian Islamic state.

“There is no victory and glory without sacrifice and hard work,” he said.

“No pain no gain.”

Hizb ut-Tahrir is already banned in several European and Middle Eastern countries.

It has also been linked to the 2005 London bombings.

NSW Premier Morris Iemma called on Federal Attorney-General Philip Ruddock to join countries including Britain and Germany and ban the group.

“This is not a case of someone being different, someone advocating a different point of view,” he said.

“This is an organisation that is basically saying that it wants to declare war on Australia, our values and our people. That’s the big difference.

“And that’s why I believe that they are just beyond the pale, enough is enough and it’s time for the Commonwealth to review this organisation’s status and take the lead from other countries and ban them.”

But Federal Attorney-General Philip Ruddock said government agencies were monitoring Hizb ut-Tahrir, although its activities in Australia did not warrant it being banned.

“Proscription of terrorist organisations is an issue that is dealt with by the Commonwealth after a referral of powers from the states,” Mr Ruddock said.

Opposition immigration spokesman Tony Burke called on newly appointed Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews to consider cancelling Dr Yusanto’s visa.

“There are clear character provisions in the immigration act that mean that if the Government didn’t want Ismail Yusanto here it could have stopped him from coming,” he said.

“The only reason we have someone in western Sydney right now preaching Sharia law is because the Federal Government chose to allow him to be here.

“My question and my comment to anyone from around the world who hates Australia is simple – if you hate the place, don’t come here.”

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Religion News Blog posted this on Sunday January 28, 2007.
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