Jihadist indoctrination group recruiting in Chicago: AIFD calls on American Muslim organizations to denounce Hizb ut-Tahrir

On July 19, 2009 Hizb ut-Tahrir (Party of Liberation) (HT) held a recruitment conference at the Hilton Oak Lawn hotel just outside Chicago, IL. The event was entitled the Fall of Capitalism and the Rise of Islam and reportedly garnered 300 attendees.

While 300 attendees may not make a movement, the meeting is significant and its occurrence should sound warning bells in the Chicago Muslim community and for all Americans. Hizb ut-Tahrir is a harbinger of much deeper efforts to convert Muslim children to an ideology that is rooted in a belief that is contrary to the liberties and ideals that Americans hold dear.

While Hizb ut-Tahrir may be new to most Americans, its roots in the United States date back over a decade to Southern California and Chicago. The organization was first founded in 1953 by a Palestinian Qadi or shari’ah judge, and today is a global Islamist network with hundreds of thousands of adherents from England to Indonesia that actively seeks to create a Caliphate based in shari’ah law. Hizb ut-Tahrir’s platform lies at the center of the contest of ideas and what it means to be a ‘Muslim.’

Groups like Hizb ut-Tahrir use the entire faith community or ‘ummah’ of Muslims for a specific global political agenda to give susceptible youth an identity that takes precedence over what it is to be American and our inherent allegiance to the Constitution and legal system. Western governments created by the people and for the people are in direct conflict with an ideology that proclaims law comes directly from the hand of God and has only one form – their theocratic form.

Islamist organizations like the Council for American Islamic Organizations (CAIR) and many local mosques in Chicago often dismiss Hizb ut-Tahrir and claim that their ideas are “separate” and “marginal” from their own. However, they have made no attempt in these protestations to advocate for the separation of mosque and state. It is our contention at the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) that there is no version of political Islam for American Muslims which can coexist with America’s founding principles and our Establishment Clause.

To discuss this conference and avoid discussing the dangers of political Islam is to miss the “elephant in the room.” HT may condemn terrorism, but Islamist groups like theirs and others often become gateways for the radicalization of youth. Terrorism is merely a tool that Islamists use to reach their goal of a shari’ah law structured government. Hizb ut-Tahrir is one of the worst offenders amongst them.

The American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) is actively denouncing Hizb ut-Tahrir’s efforts and its ideologies and calling on Muslims to denounce efforts by HT to gain a foothold in the American Muslim community. The movement to establish the Islamic state will always generate groups like HT until we, Muslims, can truly separate spiritual Islam from the agenda of political Islam.

AIFD maintains that a separation of mosque and state affords Muslims a better opportunity to practice their faith in freedom rather than theocratic oppression of Islamists. All American Muslim organizations including CAIR (Council for American Islamic Relations) and ISNA (Islamic Society of North America) need to be on the record that Hizb ut-Tahrir’s actions, ideologies and the overriding mission of political Islam are unacceptable to their organizations both as Americans and as Muslims. Anything less is a tacit acceptance of the overriding goal of Islamism.

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