The radical Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir America (HTA) will host a conference in Chicago on July 11 to hype the virtues of an Islamic state ruled according to the strictest interpretation of Islamic law. The group launched an online social media campaign to promote the event; one that serves as a prime example of how extremists are able to expose the mainstream to their ideology.
HTA hosted a similar conference outside of Chicago last year, which drew about 500 participants. This year, the campaign to promote the conference is more comprehensive, and the group expects many more participants as a result; it has booked an 11,000-square-foot ballroom at the Chicago Marriott Oak Brook that can accommodate more than one thousand.
HTA is part of a worldwide organization, Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT), which works towards the establishment of an Islamic state (Khalifah) in a Muslim country. Once a government and a military have been installed, it intends to spread Islam to the rest of the world. HT condones violence against Western troops in Muslim countries and advocates the eradication of Israel, but has so far maintained a non-violent approach to its objectives.