Hizb ut-Tahrir Emerges in America
Khilafah Conference 2011
Posted: July 28, 2009
Hizb ut-Tahrir's American branch convened its second Khilafah conference in the Chicago suburb of Oak Brook, Illinois, on June 26, 2011. The conference, which was not advertised as broadly as it first conference in 2009, was attended by approximately 250 people.
Messages at the 2011 conference, titled "Revolution in the Muslim World: From Tyranny to Triumph," primarily centered on promoting the organization's vision of establishing worldwide Caliphate and how the revolutions in the Middle East affect the movement's goals.
One session at the conference, titled "Breaking the Shackles," gave voice to the organization's idea that capitalist and nationalist systems of the West are "enemies to Islam," and the only solution is for a unified Islamic state to replace such systems with "the rule of Allah," Sharia, and the Sunnah. The speaker at this session, indentified as Brother Abu Saib, offered the February 2011 ousting of the Mubarak regime in Egypt as evidence of the Islamic nation awakening and starting on a path toward establishing a Caliphate.
Another session, "The Meaning of Real Change," was accompanied by a follow-up question and answer with a panel of HT representatives in the U.S. The session addressed practical steps the Muslim community can take to bring forth the Caliphate and to prevent another dictator from seizing power in newly liberated Arab countries, like Egypt . Panelists in the Q&A session emphasized that HT was "working with the Ummah [Muslim community] in Egypt ," and that a Muslim's duty is to "get the West out of our lands."
The last two sessions, "Shaking the Thrones" and "Life Under the Khilafah," examined the state of suffering the Ummah and Islam have fallen into since the abolition of the Ottoman Caliphate, and how everyday life will be governed once Islamic law is implemented worldwide with the rise of a new Caliphate. One of the speakers, identified as Abu Atallah, emphasized that the rise of the Caliphate would mean that borders become obsolete, nationalist ideology would be abandoned and Muslims would control the military.
The meeting ended with organizers stressing the importance of pushing forward for a unified Islamic state, and that the "Qur'an is a message for all mankind and a solution to all of man's problems." This was detailed in a pamphlet, "Khilafah State Structure: Introduction to the Constitution," that was handed out during the conference.
The constitution provides a detailed look at the structure, laws, and methods of governance the global Caliphate is expected to embody once it is established. The source of the Caliphate's authority and sovereignty will be derived from the Qur'an and the Sunnah, which will help the Caliph "adopt certain rules […] and obliges the people to act according to them." This pamphlet was designed to be "studied by Muslims while they are working to establish the Islamic State that will carry the Islamic daw'ah to the world."
Some key points mentioned in the draft constitution:
- Article 1 states that 'aqeedah (Islamic creed) will be the sole basis of the State's foundation. The government's structure in its entirety can only exist if it is from the Islamic 'aqeeda.
- Article 7 describes that the State will be charged with implementing "divine law", therefore those "guilty of apostasy (murtad) from Islam are to be executed according to the rule of apostasy…"
- Article 23 details the eight institutions of the Caliphate system, which includes an Amir of Jihad (war). The Amir of Jihad will oversee all war-related activities in the government.
- In the "Army" section, Article 56 states, "Jihad is a compulsory duty (fard) on all Muslims. Military training is therefore compulsory. Thus, every male Muslim, fifteen years and over, is obliged to undergo military training in readiness for jihad.
- The social system of the Caliphate would strictly enforce gender segregation between the two sexes, and while women will have the same rights and obligations as men, a woman's primary role "is that of a mother and wife," and she may not hold any positions of power within the structure of governance. (Articles 108-118)
- In reference to trade with foreign nations, Article 157 states that "Any country we have real war between us and its citizens (such as Israel) is excluded" from trading with the Caliphate and its citizens.
- Article 194, Section 3, describes "imperialist states" like the UK, U.S., France, and Russia as potentially belligerent states that do not have a treaty with the Caliphate.*
*With regards to Israel and the Caliphate's policy toward the Jewish state, Section 4 states that there can be no peace, and that "a state of war must be taken as the basis for all dispositions with them. They must be dealt with as if a rear war existed between us – whether an armistice exists or not."