On a hot day in August 2007, an estimated 90,000 people gathered in the Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta, Indonesia, to call for the re-establishment of the Caliphate. The event was organised by Hizb-ut-Tahrir Indonesia, a chapter of the transnational movement Hizb-ut-Tahrir (Group of Liberation) whose key aim is the revival of the Caliphate. In a theatrical performance during the event, two groups of Indonesian Muslim boys ran into the stadium. One group carried flags of Islamic countries, while the other carried flags of ‘oppressor states’ (the United States, Britain, France and Israel). The boys carrying the flags of the oppressor states started attacking the boys carrying the flags of Muslim countries. In a dramatic turn of events, a different group of boys carrying black and white flags, bearing the Muslim proclamation ‘There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his Messenger’, the flag of Hizb-ut-Tahrir (HT), drove the boys carrying the flags of the oppressor states out of the stadium. The performance sought to convey that Muslims are currently being oppressed by villainous Western imperialist powers and that it is only with the re-establishment of the Caliphate that the Muslim world will be free.

HT members thus see themselves as heroes who are out to emancipate the Muslim world. The message that the Caliphate is a necessity for the Muslim world was repeated by most of the speakers invited to the event. Mahmud Atchay, a leader of HT in the United Kingdom, declared: ‘We need to carry this message from the East to the West so that on Judgement Day we can be proud that we have fulfilled our responsibilities that Allah has ordained for us. By Allah! Nothing can dignify, liberate, and elevate this ummah except for the return of the Khilafah.’ For HT, working towards the return of the Caliphate is an obligation on all Muslims.

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