بِسْمِ اللّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ
Hizb-ut-Tahrir America was honored to have organized a Khilafah Conference on July 19th in Chicago at the Oak Lawn Hilton. (Photos are at the end of this press release.) The conference was held to commemorate the 88th anniversary of the abolishment of the Khilafah in Istanbul in 1342 H (1924 AC). The theme of the conference was ‘The Fall of Capitalism and the Rise of Islam’.
This theme was chosen to reflect two parallel trends in the global arena. On the one hand, Capitalism, as an ideology and system of economy, is experiencing serious problems which have hit the financial backbone of the system. On the other side, the world is also witnessing a steady revival of Islam and especially the call for Islam to be implemented as a way of life to such extent that a prominent commentator in the US, Patrick Buchanan, called the phenomenon “An Idea Whose Time Has Come.”
The conference drew more than 800 attendants from the Chicago area as well as from other cities in the US, and thousands more viewed the live broadcast online. The Hilton management, the Oaklawn Police Department, and the village of Oak Lawn provided an outstanding atmosphere of security and discipline throughout the day. Scores of media reporters and journalists covered the event of the conference and participated in a press conference provided by the conference organizers.
Six lectures and a keynote speech were presented at the conference. Abuatallah, an African American Muslim, outlined the core reasons behind the current failure of capitalism. His speech was followed by Dawoud Selim, who demonstrated how the people in the US and in the world at large have suffered under the dominance of capitalism. In the second session, Raza Imam and Idrees Tevris presented an outline of the economic system in Islam and how this system inherently avoids the catastrophes of Capitalism. In the third and the last session, Burhan Hanif and Jaleel Abdel-Adil discussed the roles of the Muslims worldwide in delivering a just and fair system to the peoples across the globe. Question and answer sessions were provided at the end of each section. Unlike the practice in many Muslim conferences, this one provided the audience with ample opportunity to comment and ask questions. The conference organizers invited the attendees to post any of their comments and unanswered questions to the conference site at www.khilfahconference2009.com .
The press conference was led by Bin-Asad, the spokesman of the conference, and Mohammad Malkawi, the deputy spokesperson. Reporters asked few questions related to the nature of the conference and the call to the revival of the Khilafah. However, the major emphasis was on incorrect claims associating the organizer of the conference, Hizb-ut-Tahrir, to certain names implicated in the tragic attacks of 9/11. These claims are absolutely false and baseless, and these individuals were never linked with or in any way associated with Hizb-ut-Tahrir. This was clearly stated by the spokesmen of the conference to the media. Furthermore, it was explicitly stated that Hizb-ut-Tahrir is a non-militant organization from its inception in the early 1950s. It was explained that this is NOT a tactic used by Hizb-ut-Tahrir, rather it is a firm belief that the Islamic method of achieving a political objective of the type the group is pursuing can only be achieved via political and ideological means.
The conference, its theme, and its organizers have been criticized by a few representatives of some Muslim organizations in the local area. Part of the criticism is a claim that the vision and goals of Hizb-ut-Tahrir are not shared by mainstream Muslims, however living under the deen of Islam and being united as one Ummah is the aspiration of all Muslims the world over. It is the policy of Hizb-ut-Tahrir not to engage in counter attacks and criticism with Muslim groups. However, Hizb-ut-Tahrir is willing to discuss and present its ideas, views and vision about Islam. Hizb-ut-Tahrir has outlined its ideas, thoughts and concepts in many books available for free from the party’s website (www.hizb-ut-tahrir.info) and thousands of leaflets and brochures which can be obtained through the partys representatives worldwide. Hizb-ut-Tahrir does not respond to rhetoric and attacks but it does reply to criticism of ideas and concepts and does engage in meaningful discourse to present its views and to clarify any confusion and misconceptions.
Prophet Mohammad صلى الله عليه وسلم, while in Makkah, engaged in the most civilized and intellectual manner in debating, discussing and criticizing the ailing practices of the elites of Makkah. When he صلى الله عليه وسلم migrated to Medinah, he engaged the Jewish and Christian regarding their beliefs and practices. We believe that America and the world at large are going through a major political and economic transformation. If Muslims do not provide an Islamic leadership to this transformation and leave the world to drop into yet more fallacies and catastrophes, then the sins of the world will fall upon the shoulders of those who have the belief (Iman), the knowledge and the courage.
Saturday August 1st, 2009,
Deputy Spokesman of Khilafah Conference – America