Hizb Al-Tahrir America, which is a branch of Hizb Al-Tahrir Al-Islami, an international Islamist group that advocates the message of jihad in order to re-establish a Khilafah Rashida (a righteous caliphate), has called for a conference in Illinois, scheduled for June 17, 2012, raising concerns about its ideological campaign in the United States, especially among American Muslims. 
Hizb Al-Tahrir advocates radical political change and officially acknowledges that it is an Islamist party. In a statement dated May 31, 2012 about its Tunisia branch, it described itself as "a legally unrecognized Islamist party in Tunisia." The views espoused by Hizb Al-Tahrir regarding non-Muslims and secular Muslims are no different from those advocated by Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and other Islamist organizations across the world.
On May 27, 2012, Hizb Al-Tahrir America noted in its announcement of the June 17 Illinois conference: "With the blessings of Allah (swt) Hizb ut-Tahrir America will inshaAllah [Allah Willing] be hosting a Khilafah Conference, entitled 'Revolution: Liberation by Revelation – Muslims Marching Toward Victory' on Sunday, June 17th 2012." Although the conference is expected to focus heavily on events in Syria, it is also expected to discuss the question of what forms of government are desirable for Muslims: Islamic state, secular state, or democracy. Details of the day-long conference – date, venue and subjects to be discussed – are outlined on its website:
The conference announcement attracted attention in the U.S. media. As a result, Hizb Al-Tahrir America announced that the venue would be moved elsewhere in the "Chicagoland area" but that the date and time would remain the same. It added: "Other details concerning the circumstances leading to the change in venue will be updated at a later date."
Hizb Al-Tahrir America – Global Ideological Background
Hizb Al-Tahrir, or the Islamic Party, is an international Islamist organization that has been proactively working for the re-establishment of a global Islamic caliphate, to be governed as per the teachings of the Koran and the Sunnah (the sayings and deeds of the Prophet Muhammad). In recent years, it has called for military coups in Islamic countries.
The group has branches in Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Morocco, Palestinian territories, etc. In Islamic countries, it has sought to recruit top military officers to its ideological fold in the hope of carrying out a military coup to usher in an era of Islamic rule. In Pakistan, it has strived to bring about an Islamic revolution, hoping to transform Pakistan into an ideal Islamic state that could lead the Ummah (the global Muslim nation). In recent years, several top Pakistani Army officers were discovered to have links with Hizb Al-Tahrir Pakistan, and were suspended.
Hizb Al-Tahrir's international network is well organized, and has a strong presence in non-Islamic countries such as the U.K., Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Russia, Spain, Ukraine, Australia, and the U.S. In non-Islamic countries, it advances its campaign to recruit Muslims to its ideological goals through a variety of tactics, such as lectures, public protests designed to attract publicity, verbal and symbolic attacks aimed at undermining Western symbols, messages designed to unify Muslims across the world on international issues, and more.
Like Al-Qaeda and other Islamist groups, Hizb Al-Tahrir America hopes that the downfall of autocratic regimes in Arab countries will usher in an era of Islamic government. A video accompanying the June 17 conference announcement includes quotes from the Koran and from Islamist leaders of the Arab Spring. Images in the video show the ideological message conveyed by Hizb Al-Tahrir America to its audiences among American Muslims, with one cleric cited in the video calling upon Muslims, in the context of political changes in Egypt, to work for Islamic rule even "at the expense of your lives."
In the above image from the video, Hizb Al-Tahrir America quotes Egyptian cleric Shaykh Al-Zaghby as issuing a clarion call to Muslims: "Oh Muslims! Rise up to aid and support the call for Khilafah even if it is at the expense of your lives."
Hizb Al-Tahrir America Online – Domain Registration Details
In the U.S., Hizb Al-Tahrir America formalized its online presence in 2009, with its website, Hizb-america.org. Over the past few years, the website has published numerous statements and videos of events and conferences in the U.S. and other countries. The website also regularly publishes e-books, audio lectures, and articles, justifying jihad and conveying calls for Islamic rule worldwide.
In recent years, the website has regularly published articles on topics such as "The Shari'ah and the rule of law – Islamic governance for the 21st century," "Raising Children in Islam," "The role of the political woman in the shade of the Khilafah," "All 'Thanksgiving' is to Allah(swt) alone," "Hajj Season: the Spiritual and Political Ascent," and so on.
The domain details of Hizb Al-Tahrir America show that its website was registered August 2, 2009. Following are its website details:
The Jihadi/Ideological Basis of Hizb Al-Tahrir America: "Currently, The Whole World Is Dar Al-Kufr, As No Country Matches The Criterion For An Islamic State"
A map on its website shows Hizb Al-Tahrir's presence worldwide
In a recent article on the Hizb Al-Tahrir America website, an Islamic scholar analyzed distinctions between Dar al-Islam and Dar al-Kufr (the Land of Islam and the Land of Infidels, respectively), arguing that even a Muslim-majority country can be Dar al-Kufr if it is not governed by the laws of Islam. According to Hizb Al- Tahrir America, only Islamic law will protect Muslims, even in countries where non-Muslims are in the majority. Under this definition, the U.S. and Saudi Arabia – or for that matter Syria, as it is ruled by an autocrat, or Iran, which does not implement the rule of the Righteous Islamic Caliphs – qualify as Dar al-Kufr (the Land of Infidels).
The article, by Abu Ismael al-Beirawi, stated: "According to Shariah terminology, Dar al-Islam is defined as the land which is governed by the laws of Islam and whose security (Aman) is maintained by the security of Islam, i.e. by the authority and protection of Muslims inside and outside the land, even if the majority of its inhabitants are non-Muslims.
"Dar al-Kufr is the land which is governed by the laws of Kufr [unbelief], and whose security is not maintained by the security (Aman) of Islam, i.e. by other than the authority and security of Muslims, even if the majority of its inhabitants are Muslims. So what matters in determining whether the land is Dar al-Islam or Dar al-Kufr is neither the land itself nor its inhabitants, rather it is the laws and the security."
It is evident that Hizb Al-Tahrir views the entire world as Dar al-Kufr, i.e. the land where there is an urgent need for the enforcement of Islamic rule as practiced during the time of the Prophet Muhammad and the four Righteous Caliphs who ruled after him. Hizb Al-Tahrir America also holds the view that a Muslim country becomes Dar al-Kufr by joining the United Nations. The article stated:
"• Being members of the United Nations Organization, every member of which has to agree with international law set by human beings above the laws of Allah… Instead of being ashamed of this, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia proudly highlights this relationship on the website of its Permanent Mission to the UN… In fact it was among the first 50 nations to sign the UN Charter in 1945 in San Francisco.
"• Both Iran and Saudi Arabia cannot argue that they only say they accept international law as some form of deception as they are both modern non-expansionist nation states which means the abandonment of the definitive obligation of Jihad (an obligation stipulated in multiple verses of the Quran [Koran]).
• Both have legalized Riba (usury) based banking. The Arab Monetary Fund, based in Abu Dhabi, is a huge Riba institution that was established by an agreement on 4/7/76 in Morocco. Saudi [Arabia] is the biggest share holder in it; it receives, as everyone else in the fund, riba on its shares. Iran and Saudi [Arabia] are also part of the riba based International Monetary Fund.
"The hypocrisy of these regimes is plain for everyone to see. Saudi's overt alliance with America and Iran's warm relations with the Kafir Alawite [i.e. infidel Shi'ite leader], Bashar al-Assad of Syria who has the blood of thousands on his hands are glaring examples of this.
"Therefore, it is clear that currently the whole world is Dar al-Kufr, as no country matches the criterion for an Islamic state. Thus we see the laws of Allah… abandoned as if they were worth nothing, the Sunnah of the Prophet… betrayed and the example of the Sahaba [Companions of Prophet Muhammad] ignored by the rulers of our countries. It is as [Islamic theologian] Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal said, 'The Fitna (mischief and tribulations) occurs when there is no Imam established over the affairs of the people.'
"Contrary to wishes of the enemies of Islam and their modernist defenders it is paramount for us to work to re-establish Dar al-Islam, the Islamic Khilafah state. Let us take heed in the warning of our Messenger …. [Prophet Muhammad said:] 'My Ummah will be divided into seventy-something divisions, of them, the greatest Fitna (trial) upon my Ummah are a people who measure matters with their opinion, so they make the forbidden permissible and the permissible forbidden.'"
School-Age Girl Addresses Chicago Meeting Of Hizb Al-Tahrir America: "We Will Raise The Next Army Of Abu Bakr [Islam's First Caliph], [The] Army of [Prophet] Muhammad… We Are More Than Capable, Equipped To Islam, And Allah Is On Our Side"
A March 2012 rally in Chicago by Hizb Al-Tahrir America against the Syrian regime
A public meeting in support of the Syrian people's struggle for change, held by Hizb Al-Tahrir America in Chicago in March 2012, was addressed by a school-age girl, who spoke of the role of women in an Islamic awakening. She said: "We will raise the next army of Abu Bakr [the first caliph of Islam], [the] army of [Prophet] Muhammad…. We are more than capable, equipped to Islam, and Allah is on our side. We are the backbone of this Ummah… Without us Muslim women, this Ummah will collapse, and with us it will rise and continue to rise until Islam is victorious, until Islam takes its rightful place as the only system for humanity."
Webinar on Jihad by Hizb Al-Tahrir America: "Fighting The Ruler Who Does Not Implement The Rules Of Allah… Is Not Called Jihad"; "Jihad Has To Be Fighting The Kuffar [Infidels] In The Way Of Allah"
Hizb Al-Tahrir America has posted numerous videos on YouTube, and links to them from its website. It also produces a series of webinars on key Islamic concepts such as jihad. In a webinar titled "Jihad: The Rulings from the Shariah Perspective," dated April 22, 2010, Dr. Ayman Hamed, speaking in English, explains:
"What is the definition of jihad? Jihad, in the language [i.e. linguistically], is known as doing the best, and exhausting the effort. This is the linguistic and the literal definition of jihad. But when Islam came [into being, it] gave jihad a different meaning, a specific reality to express.
"When Islam came, jihad came [to mean] to be exhausting the effort and doing the best in fighting the Kuffar [infidels] in the way of Allah…. [There are three elements to jihad.] So, it is exhausting the effort, doing the best – number one; in fighting the Kuffar – number two; in the way of Allah… directly or indirectly – [the number three]. So, 'directly' can be... physical involvement in fight. And 'indirect' can mean [giving] money or [delivering] speech [in favor of jihad].
"Now, anything that is not involved in the fight… [against] the Kuffar in the way of Allah… is not called jihad. So, fighting… rebellious people against some state is not called jihad. As well as, fighting the ruler who does not implement the rules of Allah… is not called jihad; that's called fighting…. So, Jihad has to be fighting the Kuffar in the way of Allah….
"There are two types of jihad. The first one is the offensive jihad; and the second type is the defensive jihad. The defensive jihad relates to a land of the Muslims which is occupied. And it is an obligation of Muslims to defend that land and free it and liberate from the Kuffar… The topic of tonight is the offensive jihad. So, it is the jihad that Allah… prescribed as a way to spread and get the Dawah [preaching of Islam] to the non-Muslims… I will start with a quote from Koran. Allah… says: 'Fight those who do not believe in Allah.…'"
Hizb Al-Tahrir's Bangladeshi Branch Calls For Military Coup, Says: "[Overthrow Of The Secular Government] Must Not Be A Knee-Jerk Reaction"; "As Muslims, You Have No Option To Adopt Any Other Ideology Except Islam"
In line with its advocacy of radical political change for the establishment of Islamic caliphate, Hizb Al-Tahrir's branch in Bangladesh this year urged Bangladeshi military officers to overthrow the country's secular government, led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, and accused her of "collaboration in the War against Islam by America." Following are excerpts from reports and statements on its Bangladeshi website illustrating the radical ideology of Hizb Al-Tahrir:
"Hizbut Tahrir organized protest meetings outside mosques across … [Bangladesh] after Jummah [Friday] prayers today… [March 9, 2012] against the presence of U.S. Special Forces in the country. [At the meetings] speakers said… [that] by secretly allowing the presence of U.S. Special Forces in the country [Prime Minister Sheikh] Hasina, the number one terrorist in the country, has added a heinous dimension to her collaboration in the War against Islam by America, the number one terrorist in the world….
"[Speaking before the U.S. Congress, Adm. Robert Willard] stated, 'South Asia as a whole is of major strategic importance to the U.S. and the security partnerships are increasingly vital to the U.S. Pacific Command's mission.' In plain language, he is referring to the U.S. design of preventing the return of the Khilafah in the region, and of containing China, as part of which they intend to totally subjugate Bangladesh under their domination…."
In January 2012, the group also called for violent political change in Bangladesh, stating that the overthrow of the secular Bangladeshi government "must not be a knee-jerk reaction" and noting:
"Oh sincere officers in the Muslim Army of Bangladesh! In the BDR massacre [killing of soldiers in 2009 by a group of securitymen] Hasina and her masters killed the bright officers who they considered as obstacles in the way of starting normal relations with the Indian Army. Now they are working to eliminate the rest of you who do not accept the domination of the Mushrik Army [of India]….
"Hizbut Tahrir calls upon you to undertake the following precise set of actions. First: Overthrow the current ruling regime and Hasina from authority at once. This is the one and only option in your hand. Any form of procrastination in doing this or adopting any other course only gives time and opportunity to the enemies to devise evil ways and means to harm you and the Ummah.
"Second: Remove the current regime and [removal of] Hasina must not be a knee-jerk reaction. Rather it must be for bringing true change according to what the Islamic ideology demands. As Muslims, you have no option [but] to adopt any other ideology except Islam. Otherwise your actions will be in vain. Allah (SWT) says… 'Whoever adopts a deen [religion] other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be among the losers [Koran, Chapter Al-'Imran: 85].'" ….
"Islam does not permit democratic, dictatorial, military or any other form of government. Allah (SWT) says… 'And whosoever does not rule by all that Allah has revealed such are the Zalimun [those who commit cruelties, Koran, Chapter Al-Ma'idah: 45]….'
"Oh sincere officers! How can you sit idly by while Hasina rules you with a smiling face after killing your officers? You are not an ordinary army. You are the army of the Muslim Ummah. Your forefathers opened up land after land to establish the justice of Islam on this earth. They were feared by enemies and welcomed by the people."
Hizb Al-Tahrir's Pakistani Branch Urges Military Coup To Establish Islamic Caliphate In Pakistan, Tells Soldiers: "You Are Leading The Largest And Most Capable Muslim Armed Forces In The World; The Muslim Armed Forces Alone Have The Material Strength To Establish The Khilafah"
In February 2011, Hizb Al-Tahrir's Pakistani branch issued an open letter urging the Pakistan Army to establish an Islamic caliphate in the country. It is relevant to mention here that several Pakistan Army officers have been suspended in recent years over their connections to Hizb Al-Tahrir and other extremist organizations. The letter stated:
"O officers of the Pakistan Army, you are leading the greatest and ablest Muslim army, you owe all material might, necessary for the establishment of a Khilafa [i.e. caliphate]. Now act quickly and throw out the traitors….
"Enforcing Islam as a complete code of life is a fundamental duty, therefore Hizb [Al-Tahrir] invokes the army to give Nusra (victory) to HuT [i.e. Hizb Al-Tahrir] so that [the] Khilafa can be enforced. You (the army) should act forthwith to be able to secure a great reward in the end….
"Now you (army officers) are duty bound to stop rulers from extending their help to enemies of the Islamic World. By choosing silence on the issue, you are wasting the force, bestowed by God."
In another letter, Hizb Al-Tahrir urged Pakistan Army officers to effect regime change and establish Islamic rule:
"O officers of Pakistan's armed forces!
"You are leading the largest and most capable Muslim armed forces in the world. The Muslim armed forces alone have the material strength to establish the Khilafah. As such you are the successors of the noble Ansar, who gave the material support (Nussrah) to Sayyedenah Muhammad… for the establishment of the Islamic state in Madinah [the Saudi city]. Moreover, you must move now to uproot Pakistan's traitor rulers. For even though the weaknesses of America and India are more evident than ever before, Pakistan's traitor rulers are racing to extend support to them, using the considerable resources of the Muslims to do so….
"The traitor [Pakistani] rulers are allying with the kuffar [infidels], as if this was the source of strength and well-being for the Muslims. In reality, alliance with the kuffar is a source of fragility, weakness, despair and humiliation. Allah… said, 'The parable of those who seek allies other than Allah is that of a spider who builds a house; but indeed, the weakest of houses is the spider's house – if they but knew' (Surah Al-Ankaboot 29:41).
"You must seize the traitor rulers and end their support of the Ummah's enemies. The situation is on your side, your enemies are faltering and you are strong….
"Some of you stand with the traitor rulers and the kuffar Americans, supporting them for worldly gains with full knowledge of the mischief that they do. Know that such people will be punished with the traitors at the hands of the Ummah when the Khilafah is established soon, Insha Allah [Allah willing]. And know that Allah's punishment… is greater than any suffering in this life. Allah… said, 'So, Allah made them taste the disgrace in the present life, but greater is the torment of the Hereafter if they only knew' (Surah Al-Zamar 39:26)…."
* Tufail Ahmad is Director of MEMRI's South Asia Studies Project (www.memri.org/sasp)
 The Righteous Caliphs are the four caliphs who succeeded Prophet Muhammad: Abu Bakr, Umar ibn al-Khattab, Uthman ibn Affan and Ali ibn Abi Talib.
 http://www.hizb-america.org, May 27, 2012. The announcement by Hizb Al-Tahrir America noted the subjects to be discussed at the conference as: Revolutions – Causes, Motivations and Reasons; Revolution in Syria – Conspiracies, Challenges and Aspirations; Choices and Alternatives: Islamic State, Secular State, Democracy?; Role of Muslims and Non-Muslims, etc.
 Pakistani Military Officers' Links with Jihadist Organizations, MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis Report No. 727, August 21, 2011.
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=KRMGhasUlWc#!, accessed June 7, 2012
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=IkeSbEWu6zg#!, March 28, 2012.
 http://www.memrijttm.org/content/en/report.htm?report=6353, MEMRI Special Dispatches Series No. 4715, May 9, 2012.
 http://www.memrijttm.org/content/en/report.htm?report=6353, MEMRI Special Dispatches Series No. 4715, May 9, 2012.
 http://www.memrijttm.org/content/en/blog_personal.htm?id=4431¶m=UPP, MEMRI Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor, February 10, 2011.
 http://www.memrijttm.org/content/en/report.htm?report=4871, MEMRI Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor, Report No. 3472, December 23, 2010.