Phone calls and emails warning of protests have forced a Rolling Meadows club to cancel a conference by a controversial Islamic group.
The U.S. branch of the international Hizb ut-Tahrir movement had been planning to hold a conference titled, "Revolution: Liberation by Revelation — Muslims Marching Toward Victory,” at the Meadows Club. Organizers said they were expecting roughly 1,000 people.
Meadows Club owner Madan Kulkarni told the Daily Herald that the club was bombarded with calls and emails, many of them warning of protests.
“Phone lines were starting to get jammed,” Kulkarni told the newspaper. “With other events scheduled on that day and the possibility of protests, it was not the best position for us to be in. In this kind of economy, we can't afford any picketing.”
He said organizers agreed to his request to cancel the event, saying they did not want to inconvenience the club.
Hizb ut-Tahrir says it rejects violence but it is banned in several countries, including Pakistan, where it advocates the government's overthrow. The group seeks to unite the Muslim world under a single government following strict Islamic law.
“The message is for Muslim countries to return to Islamic values," Reza Iman, a Chicago area spokesman for Hizb ut-Tahrir America, told the newspaper. “Part of it is just having confidence in Islam as a way of life, and that's a majority of what our work is.”
Hizb ut-Tahrir America held conferences in Oak Lawn in 2009 and Oak Brook in 2011. It says it still plans to hold a conference in the area on June 17.
Source : chicagotribune.com