With David Cameron becoming the Prime Minister of Britain, the group Hizbut-Tahrir (HT) faces the prospect of a ban in London. The group is known for its quest to re-establish the Caliphate in Muslim world through entirely peaceful means. That, they say, could be the starting point for unifying the Muslim nations. By removing the oppressive regimes in Muslim lands, peace and justice would be established there, they say. The leadership of HT had reassured the previous regime that it had no intention of calling for a Caliphate in UK and did considerable lobbying to prevent being banned. It seems they had succeeded in persuading the MPs to renew the current legislation that permits the group to operate. I, for one, though, find the statement of HT misleading on the subject of Caliphate for UK. As far as I remember, the Islamic opinion adopted by HT is that The Islamic State will have no permanent fixed borders, until the entire world is brought under the domain of Islam. Thus, it may not call for the Caliphate today in the UK but bringing the UK under flag of the Caliphate cannot possibly be excluded from their programme of the future. Either pragmatism or fear caused the groups leadership to take the position they did on the issue. I am perplexed by controversy over the concept of Caliphate. It existed for over a thousand years with people of different races, cultures and religions living together in prosperity. Still the main tourist attraction in Spain, the Alhambra is an enduring product and symbol of the Caliphate. The non-Muslims never faced Islamic inquisition or any form of pogroms during Caliphate. When it did happen, it was because the ruler had deviated significantly from the basic principles of Islam. I cannot think of one example of persecution or atrocity committed against non-Muslims under the Caliphate. The fear of Caliphate in the West reflects the deep insecurity of leading democracies of a possible challenge that a future Caliphate might pose. Why not debate groups like Hizbut-Tahrir on the ideological alternatives rather than imposing a ban on them? Why are the western democracies so afraid of having an open discussion on this issue? A free, democratic society should allow everyone the right to express an opinion on how we the society should be governed. -YAMIN ZAKARIA, London, May 12.