Chicago’s Moment of Freedom: Chicagoans Stand Up for Freedom Challenging Hizb ut-Tahrir
On July 19, 2009 in the Chicago suburb of Oak Lawn, Illinois, Chicagoans and other Americans defied the anti-democracy, anti-freedom Hizb ut-Tahrir organization by staging a pro-freedom, pro-democracy protest. The protest was organized by Responsible for Equality And Liberty (R.E.A.L.) founder Jeffrey Imm in response to the conference held at the Oak Lawn Hilton by Hizb ut-Tahrir to promote its vision of a global extremist caliphate that rejects freedom and democracy.
A. Chicago’s Pro-Freedom, Pro-Democracy Protesters Come to the Streets
Dozens of pro-freedom and pro-democracy protesters came from early morning through the late afternoon to demonstrate their support for freedom and democracy in the Chicago suburb. In addition to handing out informational fliers about “Why We Challenge Hizb ut Tahrir,” protesters also chanted in support of democracy and freedom, and showed their commitment to universal human rights.
Responsible for Equality And Liberty’s Jeffrey Imm addressed the protesters on the background of the Hizb ut-Tahrir organization, and he and other protesters also challenged Hizb ut-Tahrir leaders inside the conference during the Question and Answer session at the conference.
Pro-freedom protesters chanted “We Support Democracy, We Support Freedom” as their message to those attending the Hizb ut-Tahrir extremist conference.
Chicago pro-freedom protesters rejected the extremist view by Hizb ut-Tahrir in promoting an extremist caliphate that rejects human freedom as not “Islamic.”
Pro-democracy protesters also rejected the view by Hizb ut-Tahrir America (HTA) conference that democracy is “backward and primitive” in HTA pamphlets distributed at the Oak Lawn conference.
Some had just learned about the Hizb ut-Tahrir event that morning on the news through Jeffrey Imm’s interview on Fox News that Sunday morning (click on link for online video). They came with the most visible symbol of democracy that they could find – the American flag.
While pro-freedom protesters took to the streets of Oak Lawn to support democracy, retired members of the U.S. military also rode in on motorcycles to demonstrate their support for democracy and freedom as well. The peaceful protest allowed those in support of democracy and freedom to provide a counter-message to that being promoted by Hizb ut-Tahrir of religious extremism.
This counter-message of the protest was one of support for the Universal Human Rights of Equality and Liberty to challenge Hizb ut-Tahrir’s support for Universal Religious Extremism.
B. R.E.A.L. Addresses the History of Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT)
R.E.A.L.’s Jeffrey Imm spoke to the volunteer protesters, many of whom just learned about the Hizb ut-Tahrir event that morning. He explained Hizb ut-Tahrir’s (HT) history since 1953 in seeking to develop an international organization to implement an extremist caliphate, and how Hizb ut-Tahrir has been building an organization for the past 10 years covertly in America. The July 19 Oak Lawn conference, Imm stated, represented Hizb ut-Tahrir America’s (HTA) belief that they can now begin their more public “Stage Two” (as described in the HT manifesto) of their process of developing an extremist caliphate. This “Stage Two” represented HT’s belief that a public outreach to their objectives for promoting such a caliphate should now be initiated.
Imm also pointed to the ultimate objective of the HT’s extremist caliphate to create a multi-national “state” that would allow them to further promote and enforce extremist rule through this “caliphate.” To that end, HT’s manifesto rejects what they call “Democratic Capitalism,” which is how HTA managed to manipulate the public and the press into believing their July 19 Oak Lawn conference was merely about “economics,” by titling their conference “The Fall of Capitalism and the Rise of Islam.”
In fact, Imm addressed that HT is opposed not only to capitalism, but also to democracy itself. Referencing direct quotes from the HT’s manifesto (alternate link), Imm pointed out that HT states that:
– “the democratic system… is a Kufr [infidel] system” (page 25)
– rejects democracy because it “is the rule of people, for the people, by the people” (page 24)
– “Democratic Capitalism” … “is a Kufr ideology and its ideas are Kufr ideas, and its systems are Kufr systems, and they contradict Islam” (page 24)
– “freedom of belief, freedom of speech, freedom of ownership of capital and personal freedom”… “are in conflict with Islam” (page 24)
– “personal freedom does not exist in Islam” (page 24)
– “liberty and democracy, and the Capitalist and Socialist systems… totally contradict with” Islam (page 7)
– freedom of religion is denied by HT, whose manifesto states the “Muslim is not free in the matter of his belief because if he apostasizes from Islam, he is asked to return. If he does not, the punishment is death” (page 24)
Regarding HT’s support for an extremist caliphate, Imm pointed out that in August 2007, Barack Obama also stated that he viewed as America’s enemies those who “seek to create a repressive caliphate.” Imm pointed out that while the immediate stated goal of HT was the creation of an extremist caliphate in so-called “Muslim countries,” the longer term goal was to use this international caliphate to further spread supremacism around the world. To that end, Imm pointed out the goals of the HT are to create an extremist caliphate army, and calls for “every Muslim male at age 15 must be given jihad training” (page 37 – alternate link). Moreover, as HT has told the press, once the extremist caliphate was in place, nations “allowed” to continue to be “non-Muslim” would have the choice of paying a tax to the extremist caliphate, or according to HT “if non-Muslim countries refused to pay the tax, the caliphate would launch military attacks against them.”
Imm also addressed comments made by Muslim Ed Husain, a former member of the Hizb ut Tahrir, in Husain’s book “The Islamist.” Imm pointed out that Ed Husain states that “Hizb ut Tahrir calls for an expansionist, violent, totalitarian Islamist state” and that HT’s “mindset”… “does not recognize the sacred nature of human life.” Ed Husain says that, under HT’s ideology, “entire populations would submit to an army of the caliph, or face extinction.” Imm also pointed out that Ed Husain’s book quotes Hizb ut-Tahrir founder Taqiuddin al-Nabhani: “The Islamist does not flatter the people, is not courteous to the authorities or care for the people’s customs and traditions, and does not give any attention to whether people will accept him or not.”
Imm read R.E.A.L.’s “Why We Challenge Hizb ut Tahrir” to the protesters, mentioning the reports of hate and calls for violence by HT members in speeches and their pamphlets, despite’s HT’s claims to be against violence. Imm mentioned BBC’s reports that HT “has expressed support of suicide bombings in Israel,” and the Daily Telegraph report that “The Panorama program on BBC television uncovered a speech made in August 2006 by Ata Abu-Rishta, the global leader of Hizb ut-Tahrir, when he called for the ‘destruction’ of Hindus living in Kashmir, Russians in Chechnya and Jews in Israel.” This same report stated that “Omar Shariff, the first UK suicide bomber, who blew himself up in a Tel Aviv bar in 2003, is alleged to have been radicalised by Hizb ut Tahrir.” He also referenced a report which stated that Khalid Sheik Mohammed and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi were former members of Hizb ut Tahrir.
C. Inside the Hizb ut-Tahrir America (HTA) Conference – Calling for Death Penalty for “Apostates” and Demanding Religious Extremism
The Hizb ut-Tahrir America (HTA) conference held in the Oak Lawn Hilton’s Grand Ballroom had approximately 400 male attendees and another estimated 200-300 women attendees.
The women were forced to segregate themselves and sit in the back of the conference room behind the men. The conference appeared to have mostly American attendees although there were some foreign attendees as well. The moderator was Mohammed Malkawi. Two of the main speakers were British HT leader Burhan Hanif and American Dr. Jaleel Abdul-Adil (who described himself as a “former clinical psychologist”).
Some protesters also went in to the Hizb ut-Tahrir conference to ask questions during the public question and answer periods of the conference. Their questions were challenged and revealed the extremist nature of Hizb ut-Tahrir’s conference.
R.E.A.L.’s Jeffrey Imm attended the end of the final session “The Rise of Islam” prior to Question and Answer period. When going into the conference, each participant received a package from HTA which included: HTA Conference Agenda, HT glossy pamphlet ” ‘Islamic Reformation’ – Exposing the Battle for Hearts and Minds,” HT flier, and CDs “An Outcry to the Islamic Ummah – For How Much Longer?!” and “The Shield – Islamic Commentary on the State of the Muslims.”
The glossy pamphlet ” ‘Islamic Reformation’ – Exposing the Battle for Hearts and Minds” distributed by the HTA at the Oak Lawn, IL conference was designed to reject the concept of any type of “Islamic reformation” demanding instead the creation of a caliphate. The HTA pamphlet mocked the efforts by Islamic reformer Irshad Manji (page 6), claimed that challenging the Taliban’s rejection of human rights was merely a ploy “to attack Islam” (page 16), mocks “The Fallacy of Western Universalism” (page 21), mocks “allegedly universal values of secularism, freedom, democracy, Human Rights, pluralism, and the rule of law” (page 23), calls for “Shari’ah rule,” demanded separate laws for men and women, and defends the death penalty for “apostates” – who leave Islam (pages 62 and 67).
Regarding the killing of those who seek freedom of religion and choose to leave Islam, the HTA-distributed pamphlet states: “Apostasy is a question of what kind of person would openly and publicly abandon Islam with full knowledge that they will be killed for it, rather than either keeping it to themselves or leave the Khalifah. Hence, the death penalty only applies on those who in Khalifah openly leave Islam, and choose to remain in the state despite knowing the law; this is considered an open attack on the basis of the state which is Islam, essentially it is viewed as treason and a political attack on the Khalifah in order to undermine it.”
Another Hizb ut-Tahrir web site promoting the July 19 event in Chicago also promotes an online copy of this same pamphlet (page 62) that supports killing those individuals who leave Islam as guilty of “treason and a political attack on the Khilafah.”
The final session of the HTA conference “The Rise of Islam” focused on the supremacy of Islam demanding that attendees respect the “supremacy” of Islam towards building a global caliphate. The speakers stated that this supremacism was “not the historical form” of supremacism which created oppression, but claimed that supremacism would not be oppressive [despite rejecting democracy, human rights, and freedom].
The speakers indicated that the goal today was a “political struggle in Muslim worlds,” “not trying to infiltrate” non-Muslim governments, but to demonstrate why “the world should welcome the rise of Islam” through the creation of an international extremist caliphate.
The speakers demanded that the attendees dedicate their lives to the creation of this extremist caliphate “until Islam is victorious or we die in the attempt.” The speakers also rationalized “suicide bombings” are “just a reaction to oppression.” The HTA speakers stated that they are seeking an “ideological war.”
The HTA conference speakers justified the goal of an extremist caliphate taxing “non-Muslim” nations in the future (“jizya” to non-Muslims or “dhimmis”) by saying that the “taxes [that dhimmis] would pay would be much cheaper.”
During questions and answer period, three pro-freedom individuals asked questions to the HTA speakers. One asked what would happen if the U.S. was brought into the caliphate, and was told that the U.S. Constitution would be eliminated. Another person asked about what such a caliphate would mean to Christians currently enjoying freedoms in the West, and was answered by HTA speakers that “freedoms would look very different for those who live under the caliphate,” and that “people would prefer living under a caliphate adminstration.” Finally, R.E.A.L.’s Jeffrey Imm asked that given the HT called for non-Muslim nations to pay a tax to an Islamic caliphate or else the caliphate would go to declare war on them, how does that make supremacism any different from any other form of extremist oppression? After much hesitation in getting an HTA speaker to respond, eventually UK’s HT leader Burhan Hanif answered by merely stating “every ideology tries to expand its influence.”
D. A Monument to Human Courage in Chicago
R.E.A.L.’s Jeffrey Imm pointed out to the pro-freedom protesters standing defiantly in support of democracy, equality, and liberty that they were making history that July 19, and that they should be proud of their willingness to come out, protest, and challenge those extremists who seek the destruction of freedom and democracy. Imm said that “Washington DC has its marble monument to freedom in the Lincoln Memorial, New York City has its steel structure to liberty in the Statue of Liberty, but here in Chicago, this day, you should remember that you created a living monument to freedom and democracy with your courageous stand here today. We have shown that we can do something about those who would defy democracy and liberty. We have shown that we as individuals can be Responsible for Equality And Liberty. The world is watching – we are here protesting in defense of democracy and freedom for those struggling for freedom around the world who don’t have a voice. You gave those people around the world a new hope today. We and others around the nation and the world will remember this protest, and will remember that in Chicago on July 19, people stood up in defense of democracy and freedom.”
As the Hizb ut-Tahrir members ended their conference, and came out defiantly waving their Black Flag of the extremist caliphate, R.E.A.L.”s Jeffrey Imm urged the protesters not to be goaded, and led them instead to chant “We Support Democracy, We Support Freedom.”
More Background on Hizb ut-Tahrir:
Related Articles on Hizb-ut-Tahrir
— Hizb-ut-Tahrir’s Activities in the United States — by Madeleine Gruen
—- “Its membership has swelled, putting on track its objective of persuading the global ummah that the establishment of a caliphate”
— Extremist launch PR ‘war’ against Western values — Hizb ut-Tahrir
— “I know how these terrorists are inspired” — about Hizb ut-Tahrir
– BBC: Hizb ut Tahrir
– “Hizb Ut Tahrir or HT is an Islamic splinter group, which is banned in many countries around the world. It operates freely in Britain.”
– “But Newsnight has discovered that its website promotes racism and anti-Semitic hatred, calls suicide bombers martyrs, and urges Muslims to kill Jewish people.”
– “The party has expressed support of suicide bombings in Israel. It denounces Western governments and what it sees as their lackey regimes in the Middle East.”
– “In Denmark, HT’s spokesman has been found guilty of distributing racist propaganda.”
– April 2008 – Daily Telegraph: “Extremists ‘urge young Muslims to use violence’”
— “Hizb ut Tahrir, which wants to overthrow democracy and establish a worldwide Islamic theocracy, distributed leaflets to young Muslims inciting them to resist the occupation of Islamic lands, according to a TV documentary by a former group member.”
— “One leaflet read: ‘Your forefathers destroyed the first crusader campaigns. Should you not proceed like them and destroy the new crusaders?’”
— “‘Let the armies move to help the Muslims in Iraq, for they seek your help.’ Another leaflet, handed out last August, pours scorn on the UN and tells followers to embark on a Violent Extemism, or ‘holy war’.”
— “The Panorama documentary contains the first testimony indicating it has advocated the use of force. The group has been accused of fuelling terrorism in the past, but has always denied involvement in any form of violent activity.”
— “Omar Shariff, the first UK suicide bomber, who blew himself up in a Tel Aviv bar in 2003, is alleged to have been radicalised by Hizb ut Tahrir.”
— “Panorama has also uncovered a speech made in August last year by Ata Abu-Rishta, the global leader of Hizb ut Tahrir, when he called for the “destruction” of Hindus living in Kashmir, Russians in Chechnya and Jews in Israel.”
— “‘The Caliphate (global Islamic government) will liberate the countries and the people from the influence of the Kafer (non-believer) and its allies and the tyranny of its men and followers,’ he said.”
— “Rishta also spoke recently at its annual conference in Jakarta, Indonesia, where, as video footage in the Panorama expose shows, he whipped the 100,000-strong crowd into a frenzy by calling for a war on Jews. Saleem Atchia, a senior member of Hizb ut Tahrir UK, later made a firebrand speech from the same platform.”
— “Maher, a former friend of the bombers who tried to blow up Glasgow Airport in June and the organisation’s north-east ‘director’ until he left in 2005, claims its aims are the same the world over.”
— “He says its British disciples believe they will eventually fight on these shores.”
— “‘Hizb ut Tahrir despises democracy and believes Shariah law must be imposed over the whole world, by force if necessary,’ he said.”
— “‘I think unless we challenge this we are sleepwalking into a very dangerous future.’”
— UK Guardian: “leaflets handed out by Hizb ut-Tahrir supporters in Copenhagen which claimed suicide bombings in Israel were ‘legitimate’ acts of ‘martyrdom’”