Hundreds attend meeting calling for an absolute end to occupation in the Middle East
London, UK, March 30 2007 – Hundreds of men and women gathered at Friends House, Euston road, London for a conference launching the report by Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain entitled: ‘Iraq: A New Way Forward'. Published on the fourth anniversary of the Iraq invasion, the report looks at the Iraq occupation, western foreign policy in the wider region, and a suggested way forward for the Muslim world.
Jamal Harwood, Executive Committee Chairman, Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain argued why occupation was the real problem, and that occupation had to end now. He outlined and refuted the many reasons put forward for UK and US forces remaining in Iraq citing the fact that since 70% of the attacks in Iraq were directed at the occupying forces, they were the prime cause of much of the violence. He also refuted the idea that the occupying forces could defeat the Iraqi resistance since it enjoys broad based support within that society. He ended with a call for an immediate end to the occupation in order to end the chaos that is Iraq.
Sajjad Khan, a leading member of Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain and editor of the report broadened the focus of the discussion to the wider region. He argued that western interference in the region has been ongoing for the last few centuries citing Napoleon's invasion of Egypt, the Anglo-French invasion at Suez and today's stationing of US bases in Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait amongst others as well as the ongoing support for the regions dictators and monarchs. He argued that the ‘war on terror' has simply become the latest excuse for military, political and economic interference in the region. He urged the audience to therefore call not just for withdrawal of western forces from Iraq, but an end to Western interference in the wider region in order for people to be able to decide their own destiny.
Mustafa from the Executive committee of Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain, stated that after the occupation, Iraq would need to adopt a political model which can unite and stabilise the country. He argued that the Islamic political model, the Caliphate, is the only political model capable of this since it has a 1300 year history of successful application in the region and due to the fact that it is in harmony with the values and beliefs of most Iraqis who are mainly Muslims, unlike secular liberalism which is at odds with the peoples values and beliefs. He urged the audience to be active in debunking the many myths western governments are propagating about the Caliphate highlighting some of the arguments contained in the report.
In a lively discussion, the diverse audience of Muslims and non-Muslims questioned speakers on the applicability of the Caliphate, the treatment of non-Muslims, the effect of the Iraq debacle on the neocons agenda and a range of other issues. Many took home the report which others can download here
View the video of the event here
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