Video from the Hizb ut Tahrir meeting that took place at the Hilton hotel in Oak Lawn, Illinois on July 19, 2009 via the Investigative Project on Terrorism.
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Read some excerpts from IPT’s report below or read the entire report here.
Security at the conference was very tight. Oak Lawn police maintained a checkpoint outside the Hilton, and local police and HT’s own security people had a substantial presence inside the hotel. In the ballroom where the conference took place, men and women were largely segregated, with men in the front and women in the back. This became a significant point of contention between HT supporters and several members of the audience who objected to this arrangement. At one point, an unidentified Hizb ut-Tahrir speaker became flustered over this line of questioning.
“Men and women,” he blurted out, must be kept separate “to prevent people from behaving like animals.”
A woman in the audience responded: “How does intermingling between men and women make you animals?” HT panelists didn’t have a persuasive answer, and soon adjourned that session.
The conference was sometimes poorly organized. There was no list of speakers, forcing reporters to sometimes guess at the spelling of speakers’ names. But HT certainly appeared to be serious about working for the larger goals of the conference: abolishing capitalism and imposing Caliphate rule over the world.
According to Hizb ut-Tahrir, the world’s social and economic problems will not be fixed until the world is governed by Shariah and the government controls all major industries. Lenders would no longer be able to charge interest, which one speaker decried as a “poisonous concept.” Charity, or zakat, was advertised as the way to alleviate “economic inequality.”
HT’s efforts to rehabilitate its image won’t be helped by the menacing tone on display Sunday. One late-afternoon panelist suggested that modern industrial powers could fall to Muslims the way Mecca fell to Mohammed nearly 1,400 years ago.
A speaker identified by conference organizers as Imam Jaleel Abdul Adil said that “if they offer us the sun, or the moon, or a nice raise, or a passport, or a house in the suburbs or even a place to pray at the job, on the condition that we stop calling for Islam as a complete way of life – we should never do that, ever do that – unless and until Islam becomes victorious or we die in the attempt.”
Later, the following dialogue ensued between the imam and a member of the audience over whether Shariah or the Constitution should be the supreme law of the land in the United States (click here to see the clip):
Audience member: “Would you get rid of the Constitution for Shariah, yes or no?”
Imam: “Over the Muslim world? Yes, it would be gone.”
Audience Member: And so if the United States was a Muslim world, the Constitution would be gone?”
Imam: “If the United States was in the Muslim world, the Muslims who are here would be calling and happy to see the Shariah applied, yes we would.”
Audience Member: “And the Constitution gone. That’s all.”
Imam: “Yes, as Muslims they would be long gone.”
While Hizb ut-Tahrir’s controversial message attracted demonstrators and some media attention, the group at least is open about its ambitions. It not only is determined to destroy capitalism — it would shred the United States Constitution as well in favor of Shariah law.