Muslim fundamentalists, who want to bring back the Middle Ages rule by caliphs, are gaining strength in the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the Arab world. The Hizb ut-Tahrir movement calls for a peaceful Muslin religious revolution and appeals to many middle-class people fed up with their leaders.
The movement is exploiting general rejection by PA Arabs of Hamas and Fatah leadership, according to a report featured in several foreign newspapers. "Why are we watching infidels prosper in this world and not stopping them?" Sheik Abu Abdullah told a crowd in Ramallah. "Muslims in China, Indonesia, Pakistan and everywhere in their thousands...demand the return of [Allah's] rule on Earth."
Hizb ut-Tahrir rejects entering politics because it does not believe in democracy. It preaches non-violence, but experts believe the movement allows Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups to recruit members. The movement, the name of which means Party of Liberation, began in Jerusalem in 1953 and strives for a world-wide union of Muslim nations to be governed according to the Koran. It calls for the end of Israel.