London, May 7th 2011 – Thousands of people joined a demonstration supporting the people in Syria, Yemen, Bahrain, and Libya who have been rising up and opposing the illegitimate regimes that rule over them. Demonstrators marched down Edgware road, the heart of London’s Arab community, and rallied at Belgrave Square, home to the offices of the embassies of Syria, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
Protestors held placards with photos with big crosses across the faces of the criminals; Bashar al Assad, Ali Abdallah Saleh, Hamad bin Isa, and Muammar Gaddafi – a hugely insulting gesture in the Arab world. Other banners were a parody of the emblem of the company BP saying that the Western intervention in Libya was more about oil than a humanitarian mission.
Other banners and placards had messages including: ‘Arab Puppet Rulers Must Go!’; ‘Syria – Yemen – Bahrain – Libya:Time for Real Change’; ‘No to Colonialism. Yes to Khilafah’; and ‘One Ummah .. Want Justice .. Want Unity .. Want Change .. Khilafah is the Answer’.
Taji Mustafa, media representative of Hizb ut-Tahrir in Britain, who organised the march and chaired the rally at the end, said “Our demonstration but brought together people from Syrian, Bahraini, Yemen and Libyan communities as well as men, women and children from the wider Muslim community in Britain who wished to express solidarity with those rising up across the Muslim world. All were united in denouncing western backed regimes which they consider illegitimate. Protestors heard about the crimes of these regimes and called for their removal. All here were united in believing that a system based on Islamic values, the Khilafah, is the best chance for unity, dignity and harmony in the Middle East, North Africa and Muslim world in general.”
Speakers who addressed the rally included: Dr Yusuf Abul Harith, a Syrian exile and member of Hizb ut-Tahrir, Dr Abdul Wahid, chairman of Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain’s UK-Executive committee and Mr Hussain from the Syrian community.
The speakers denounced the regimes, outlined its many crimes against the people and called for real change. They said that the precious blood spilled on the Arab Street means people deserve real change, not simply new faces on the old regimes, slight amendments to the constitution and other cosmetic changes. Real change could only come from an Islamic system, the Khilafah, which can unite people around an Islamic constitution, end sectarianism, give people the authority to elect their rulers and account them, and look after the people’s interests – not those of Western colonial powers and a tiny elite that keeps power for themselves.
Speakers urged people to stand with the Ummah in this time of need and make the case for Islam as a basis of rule – especially in the face of pressure to look only at secular models of government.
The peaceful demonstration ended with dua and a pledge to continue working for real change in the Muslim lands.