Hizb Ut-Tahrir: Shariah Takes Precedence over U.S. Constitution

Oak Lawn, Illinois – Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT), the international movement to re-establish an international Islamic state ­ or Caliphate – kicked off a new campaign to win American recruits Sunday afternoon in this Chicago suburb. Nearly 300 people packed the Grand Ballroom of the Hilton Hotel for its Khalifah Conference on "The Fall of Capitalism and the Rise of Islam" to listen to listen to HT ideologues blame capitalism for World War I and World War II; the U.S. subprime mortgage meltdown; the current violence in Iraq and Afghanistan; world poverty and malnutrition and inner-city drug use.

A speaker identified as Abu Atallah even blamed capitalism for the late singer Michael Jackson's decision "to shed his black skin."

Hizb ut-Tahrir aims to restore the Caliphate that existed during the Ottoman Empire in Turkey. Turkish leader Kemal Ataturk abolished it in 1924 in an effort to create a secular, Europeanized state.

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."

"Secular capitalism has made me devalue my skin" and "has kept my family in ghettos," said one speaker, an African-American who went on to blame it for the fact that he smoked marijuana and his grandmother played the lottery. Capitalism, he added, is a form of economic "terrorism" and "causes us to be sent to mental hospitals." Barack Obama's presidency, he said, "is only a scheme or con" to trick people into thinking that things will get better under capitalism.

But time and again on Sunday, Hizb ut-Tahrir officials seemed to be playing slippery rhetorical games of their own – particularly when it came to the behavior of despotic Muslim regimes and terrorists. When a few skeptical audience members pressed speakers over the fact that Islamic governments in Iran and Saudi Arabia are despotic, conference speakers claimed those weren't "authentic" Muslim governments and that the CIA (and by implication, the capitalist U.S. government) was to blame for the problems in those countries. In an interview with WBBM-TV in Chicago, HT deputy spokesman Mohammad Malkawi refused to specifically condemn Al Qaida and the Taliban.

Hizb ut-Tahrir has not been designated a terrorist group by the U.S. government and it insists it is only interested in instituting radical change by nonviolent means. But HT's alumni include 9/ll mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the late Iraqi terrorist leader Abu Musab Zarqawi and would-be Hamas suicide bombers, and the group's pro-jihadist rhetoric has led critics to label it a "conveyor belt for terrorists."

One Muslim American group issued a statement in advance of the conference condemning Hizb ut-Tahrir's radical ideology and challenging others to follow suit.

"Hizb ut-Tahrir preaches an ideology that calls for the destruction of the principles that America is founded on," said Zuhdi Jasser, president of the American-Islamic Forum for Democracy. "While their words are protected by our First Amendment, their actions and movement must not be allowed to take hold. The silence of American Islamist organizations like [the Council on American-Islamic Relations] CAIR and [the Islamic Society of North America] ISNA in condemning the ideologies of Hizb ut-Tahrir and their agenda of insurgency in America speaks volumes to their own, albeit, more camouflaged Islamist agenda."

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 Razek 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." (To see the clip, click here.)

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.

The IPT accepts no funding from outside the United States, or from any governmental agency or political or religious institutions. Your support of The Investigative Project on Terrorism is critical in winning a battle we cannot afford to lose. All donations are tax-deductible. Click here to donate online. The Investigative Project on Terrorism Foundation is a recognized 501(c)3 organization.

IPT News – July 20, 2009

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Emerson on Fox News: How Real is the Threat of Homegrown Terror in the US?

by Steven Emerson

GREG GUTFELD: He knows terror cells like I know cheap hotels. My next guest has been warning us for years that terrorists are being homegrown right here in the United States and now several incidents here at home seem to be proving him correct. I'm pleased to have on the set, Steven Emerson. He is a terrorism analyst and the founder of the Investigative Project on Terrorism, a non-profit research group. Hey Steven, how are you?

STEVEN EMERSON: Good to see you.

GUTFELD: Glad to have you. Now we got a couple of recent incidents, the Bronx terror plot, where they tried to bomb the synagogues and then we had the Arkansas jihadist's murder. Are these just isolated incidents, because that's the way it's being shown in the media, that they are basically rogue weirdos and we have nothing to worry about. Is that fair?

STEVEN EMERSON: No, absolutely not. The fact is there is no conspiracy here but they what they are all tethered to is this cultural jihad that they learn that it's ok to kill the infidel, Jews, Christians, military targets and they're all embedded with this ideology. The fact is if you look within the last eight years you will find that the U.S. has stopped 19 major terrorist attacks here in the United States. None of them were connected to each other but like the Fort Dix plot where they plotted on killing 500 US soldiers; these were American Muslims who were living here for the better part of 25 years. They had all of the benefits of living here yet they became radicalized through the internet, through the mosques, through the Islamic organizations that teach them that the United States is the devil incarnate.

GUTFELD: But here's the thing…this is the weird thing about success. When you bust a plot, it doesn't happen and the media seems to only take terrorism seriously when it's successful.

EMERSON: I had a discussion with three FBI agents the other day about what would have happened on September 10th, 2001 if we had arrested 19 guys and charged them with plotting to blow up the World Trade Center and the Pentagon; and everyone would have said this is just a crazy conspiratorial allegation by the government and they were entrapped. This is exactly the problem. The media doesn't take it seriously for two reasons. One, is their sympathy with the radical Muslim ideology; they look at them as victims. Number two, the media is more focused on being adversarial to the government. So the government's attacks on Muslims is perceived as the real aggression; not the attacks by Muslims against the US government or the US people.

GUTFELD: How good a job does the mainstream media do on reporting this stuff?

EMERSON: On a scale of 1 to 10?


EMERSON: 1 being the least?


EMERSON: Negative 50.

GUTFELD: Really?

EMERSON: Absolutely.

GUTFELD: That wasn't part of the rating system, Steven. Had to be between 1 and 10.

EMERSON: It is so appalling and I have to watch it because again I deal with the media.

GUTFELD: Who are the worst? Who are the worst people? Bill Schultz is one of them.

EMERSON: No kidding. New York Times.

HOST: I can't talk when… Whoa! Cover that! We'll fix that in edits.

EMERSON: Sorry. The New York Times is appalling. If you listen to the 3 hour block of primetime on MSNBC, all four people that watch them, they don't have to use waterboarding, all they have to do is make the Islamic terrorist do is listen to Chris Matthews for two hours and they'll say anything. The fact is the most politically correct, pro radical Islamic commentary and reporting is done by some of the most mainstream media networks and newspapers and unfortunately there is no accountability. Nobody says to them you did it wrong because they're all busy taking on the US government. They think the US government is more dangerous than radical Islam.

GUTFELD: Yeah, and as long as the US government continues to do its job by keeping you safe, it makes it easier for them to do that because there is nothing they can point to.

EMERSON: They are victims of their own success.

GUTFELD: Yeah. You talk about the violent jihad and the stealth jihad. What's the stealth jihad? I imagine that's like the violent one but invisible.

EMERSON: Well, sort of like that because most people focus on terrorism that's the act of violence where you see the explosion, the planes blowing up, the buildings on fire, people jumping out of buildings; but everything leading up to that, the indoctrination, the prosetylization, the recruitment, the radicalization. That's all invisible to the naked eye. Much of that is legal and it's also part of the infiltration of the United States government. The Muslim Brotherhood designed a plan 30 years ago to infiltrate the US government. These are not things that I am making up but were introduced as documents in a trial recently and it shows that the stealth jihad is an effort to suppress your freedom of speech. Why wouldn't any newspaper reprint the Danish cartoons? Why did Random House not publish the book about the Prophet Mohammad's wife? Why are writers around the world in fear, living in this country in fear in full 24 hour protection?

GUTFELD: What's your take on the whole concept on the unclenched fist? I have a theory he's doing this, the President's doing this so that later he can say he did it and its part of a journey of coming to a conclusion. That's what I'm hoping. A conclusion that you've already reached; that the unclenched fist doesn't work, unless it's at a club with Bill.

EMERSON: I'm not going to disagree with you on this one.

GUTFELD: What about the club part?

EMERSON: Look, he wouldn't use the term terrorism in his speech. He doesn't use the words radical Islam at all. When he is asked who the enemy is he says Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda is just part of the enemy. The enemy is jihadism. If you can't name your enemy as radical Islam, you can't ever expect to defeat it.

GUTFELD: But he did bring up 9/11 which was-I was glad he did that. I wasn't asking for much but at least he did that.

EMERSON: He brought up 9/11,on the other hand he's like let's go forward with the Iranians. Let's wipe the slate clean with the 240 Marines that they killed in 1983 in the Marine Barracks, or the Colonels that they hung in 1989 in Beirut. Look the bottom line is the aggression that has been committed by the Muslim world against the United States and the West or Jews and Christians has been a hundred times greater than we have committed against them.

GUTFELD: Now you can't live-you live in an undisclosed address, don't you? You can't-

EMERSON: Now I'm going to have to kill you.

GUTFELD: Have people actually tried to assassinate you or have you uncovered?

EMERSON: Listen, anybody who sends me a threat, whether its my staff, my mother, or somebody who hates me and there are a lot of people who do.

HOST: Your mother sends you threats?

EMERSON: She communicates with me. She doesn't use the internet yet. She breaks the computer. That's what she's afraid of doing. I don't take them seriously but there was a threat that was serious when I was informed about it several years ago and they forced me to leave my existing co-op.

GUTFELD: Really?

EMERSON: I couldn't even sell it because of the issue of potential someone bombing it.

GUTFELD: I think that was someone who wanted your co-op because I have acted on the same thing. I wanted to move into my building so I just made it a kinda death threat thing and I got the place.

EMERSON: Really?


EMERSON: You do that in the right market I guess. They did it at the wrong time.

GUTFELD: Steven, thank you so much. Steven Emerson. Check out his website. Its investigativeproject.org. It's kinda scary interesting stuff. If you have a comment on what you're seeing, email us. Its redeye@foxnews.com.

The IPT accepts no funding from outside the United States, or from any governmental agency or political or religious institutions. Your support of The Investigative Project on Terrorism is critical in winning a battle we cannot afford to lose. All donations are tax-deductible. Click here to donate online. The Investigative Project on Terrorism Foundation is a recognized 501(c)3 organization.

Fox News – Red Eye – June 10, 2009

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