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Fight for global Islamic state, conference told

A RADICAL Islamic group yesterday called on all Muslims in Australia to work towards forming a pan-global Islamic state, while NSW and federal politicians traded blows on whether the group should be banned under the anti-terror laws.

More than 450 men and women packed into a reception hall at Lakemba in Sydney's southwest to hear speakers from Hizb ut-Tahrir (Party of Liberation) outline their hopes for a single Islamic state that would overthrow all dictators, invaders and governments in every Muslim country across the globe.

The Khilafah conference was told that "humankind" could only escape destruction under "the divine order of Islam".

A conference declaration issued at the day's end called on all Muslims in Australia to "assume their responsibility for effecting political change in the Muslim world and to manifest universal brotherhood".

The radical agenda of Hizb ut-Tahrir was enough evidence to convince NSW Premier Morris Iemma that the group should be proscribed. "This is an organisation that is basically saying it wants to declare war on Australia, our values and our people," he said. "And that's why I believe 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."

Federal Attorney-General Philip Ruddock confirmed federal police were monitoring the group, but said it could not be banned without solid evidence that it was urging violence -- and he challenged the NSW Government to come up with such evidence.

The conference called yesterday for the political destiny of the Muslim world to be in the hands of Muslims only, and for all external interference with their affairs to be rejected.

Addressing the conference, controversial Indonesian cleric and one of the Hizb ut-Tahrir leaders in that country, Ismail Yusanto, said Muslims were now facing a new dawn after a "long dark night".

Dr Yusanto called on "all the sons and daughters of Islam, both domestically and externally" to support the establishment of a Muslim state under the direction of a single religious leader.

"Sacrifice must be encouraged," he said, warning that Western capitalist countries would be sure to attack any emerging Islamic state.

"We will call on all of Islam to be ready for a jihad."

NSW Police Minister John Watkins told The Australian last night: "I would ask Philip Ruddock to look closely at what this group have said publicly today in the media. I don't know why there is not enough evidence for him to take immediate action."

Another speaker, one of Hizb ut-Tahrir's Australian leaders, Ashraf Doureihi, said Muslims should reject capitalism and embrace Islam. "We must make Islam the only reference point of Muslims," Mr Doureihi said, warning that every strata of Muslim society had been infiltrated with non-Muslim ideas.

However, conference spokesman Washim Doureihi said the work of Hizb ut-Tahrir was not to change the political nature of Australia. "It is because of Islam and my allegiance to Islam that I am responsible for ensuring to do what I can to protect the safety and security of all peoples in this country and beyond," he said.

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