Monday, July 12, 2010

Illinois hotel backs out of hosting Muslim group ~ Hizb ut-Tahrir

CHICAGO — A controversial Muslim group has canceled its annual U.S. conference after a suburban Chicago hotel backed out of hosting the event.

American members of Hizb ut-Tahrir (HIZ-bhut-ah tuh-REER) had planned a 2010 conference at the Chicago Marriott Oak Brook on Sunday.

But organizer Ayman Hamed says the hotel sent a late cancellation notice without explanation. The hotel didn't return calls for comment.

The self-described political organization wants to establish a worldwide Islamic state. It's banned in Turkey and other countries.

The group doesn't advocate violence and isn't considered a terrorist organization by the U.S.

But several scholars criticize the group's secretive workings. One has called it a "conveyor-belt to terrorism."

Last year a conference in suburban Oak Lawn drew about 800 people and a handful of protesters.

Chicago Tribune

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