Attempt to Silence Jakarta's Great Caliphate debate
London, UK , August 10 2007 – By order of the government of Indonesia, Dr Imran Waheed, Media representative of Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain, member of the party's UK Executive Committee and renowned figure amongst Britain's Muslim community has been prevented from entering Indonesia on arrival at Jakarta airport. Dr Waheed was an invited speaker at this weekend's International Khilafah Conference which is expected to attract up to 100,000 delegates.
Last weekend, Dr Waheed addressed an audience of thousands at the London Khilafah conference and was due to carry a message of solidarity from Muslims in Britain. On arrival at Jakarta airport, Dr Waheed was informed that the Indonesian government had refused him permission to enter the country. In Indonesia, and in many other countries, Hizb ut-Tahrir works as an open and public organisation.
Commenting on this incident, Dr Abdul Wahid, the Chairman of Hizb ut-Tahrir's UK Executive Committee said, "Whether this is the desperate action of the Indonesian regime or the regime following the orders of an overseas government is unclear. What is clear is that there is an attempt to prevent Dr Waheed from speaking. One has to ask, do they fear our arguments so much?"
"Hizb ut-Tahrir has spearheaded a crucial debate on the future for the Muslim world – an alternative to corruption and dictatorship. We hear endless rhetoric about a battle of ideas but the only actions we see are bans, smears and an attempt to silence debate. This is 'freedom and democracy' as it actually exists in the world, rather than the utopian fantasy which is usually presented. They may try to prevent one man from speaking; they can not prevent ideas from spreading."