Hizb ut-Tahrir, an Islamic extremist group working for uniting the world under Sharia law, chose to hold its second annual conference on July 11 at the Chicago Marriott Oak Brook. The hotel has caved under public pressure and has just decided not to host the event, but HUT is still promoting the conference and can be counted on to look for other venues in the area. The organization has chosen the home of President Obama, the leader of the free world, to pursue its anti-democratic agenda by taking advantage of the freedoms it seeks to vanquish.
“HT recruiters use religious language to pull the confused Muslim youth to their side in an effort to undermine American democracy. The danger of this conference is that it legitimizes HT as a mainstream organization and allows it to further spread its hate-filled message that divides Muslims and non-Muslims,” Zeyno Baran, a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute, told FrontPage.
Hizb ut-Tahrir has accurately been described as “a conveyor belt to terror” by Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, the moderate Muslim leader of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy. Although the group condemns terrorism and doesn’t publicly support violence, several of its members have gone on to become major terrorists, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
The group may not embrace the tactics of Al-Qaeda but their goals are the same. Hizb ut-Tahrir’s first conference in the U.S. was held last year in Chicago and was titled, “The Fall of Capitalism & the Rise of Islam.” It was attended by between five and six hundred people, and one speaker openly called for throwing out the U.S. Constitution and putting Sharia law in its place.
Although Hizb ut-Tahrir has condemned the 9⁄11 attacks and has been criticized by Al-Qaeda, this does not make them moderate. They support violent jihad overseas, praising Palestinian suicide bombers as “martyrs,” calling for the destruction of Israel, and supporting those fighting non-Muslim soldiers in Muslim lands. Footage has been found of the group’s leaders supporting militants in Kashmir and Chechnya and leaflets have called on Muslims to fight Coalition forces in Iraq.
Hizb ut-Tahrir does not openly support terrorist attacks in Europe, but its top official in the United Kingdom refused to condemn the 2005 London bombings. He said that he’d only “condemn what happened in London only after there is the promise from Western leaders to condemn what they have done in Falluja and other parts of Iraq and in Afghanistan.” A book by one former leader says that non-Islamic government leaders should “either retract or be killed.” The group’s Facebook page links to a sermon by Anwar al-Awlaki, a high-level Al-Qaeda member believed to have been tied to the Fort Hood shooting, the Christmas Day underwear bomb plot, and actively planning further attacks.
The group is much less restrained outside of the United States. In Indonesia, where the group has held well-attended conferences, they are demanding the stoning and caning celebrities who appear in sex tapes and want regulation to bring the Internet into accordance with Islam. The group calls upon those in power to “break down the total current system and replace it with Islamic sharia.” The HUT coordinator of a protest that numbered about 1,000 said that those that don’t perform abstinence should be publicly caned 100 times and adulterers should be stoned to death. The organization’s Facebook also links to an article attributed to their Pakistani branch calling on the Pakistani army to aim its nuclear weapons at Israel and overthrow the government so a caliphate can be created that will “remove the Jewish state.”
Zeyno Baran told FrontPage that Hizb ut-Tahrir doesn’t need a huge level of support in order to promote its ideology.
“HT does not need mass support–it aims to have support from people who are established and with influence in their communities, such as doctors, engineers, politicians etc.,” she said. “Moreover, many of HT’s ideas…have over time become mainstream Islamist ideas.”
Hizb ut-Tahrir has a three-stage plan to implement Sharia law. They first build a branch in the targeted country. They then begin an outreach effort to try to recruit as many Muslims as possible. Once a base of support is created, they begin pushing for the implementation of Sharia law. Contrary to Al-Qaeda, HUT moves incrementally and takes into account its weaknesses. The late founder of the group called for building a single country to encompass all Muslims which would then be able to spread its version of Islam to the non-Muslim world.
The text contained in a journal that used to be published by HUT members reinforces these points. The December 1995 issue says that “Jihad is impossible…without an organized military machine….The Islamic state must form an army capable of offensive attacks. The army is an integral part of delivering the message of Islam to the world.” Another issue says Muslims must “annex all the Islamic wilayah (provinces) stretching from Europe to China. Let us then see the U.S. try to meddle in our affairs.” The goal of HUT is to build and expand a state and become stronger until it can conquer further. This pragmatic mindset is why HUT has made the decision not to promote violence in the United States and to moderate its language and behavior in the West.
Hizb ut-Tahrir is a sophisticated group with a long-term, phased approach towards achieving its goals. The attendance of their last conference by 400-500 Muslims show they are making some inroads into the Muslim community. In terms of winning converts and influence, they seem to be doing a better job than Al-Qaeda. The residents of Illinois need to be aware that their city of Chicago is being used as a platform by Islamic extremists to more efficiently accomplish what Al-Qaeda has been unable to. They are at the forefront of a battle to bring Sharia law to the United States.
This article was sponsored by Stand Up America.