Islamic radicals test ground in calm Ukraine

5b01c7b2-91c2-4e91-9119-5a617732e2c2_16x9_788x442More than a thousand bearded men, muffled in scarves and accompanied by veiled women, stand under the hot sun, waving black and white flags and chanting “Allahu Akbar!” (God is Greatest).

This is not a scene from the Middle East or Central Asia but a rally of the supporters of the Islamist Hizb ut-Tahrir (Party of Freedom) in Simferopol — the capital of the Ukrainian Black Sea region of Crimea.

Hizb ut-Tahrir seeks to re-establish a Caliphate — a pan-Islamic state based on Islamic rule like in the medieval era — across the Middle East and Central Asia.

Banned in several states, it is now showing surprising strength in Crimea, a balmy seaside holiday resort region which has its own substantial Muslim Tatar minority.

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h/t Bottehond

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