An email had come my way saying that the Hizb-ut-Tahrir was planning a meeting at a community Center in Mississauga, Ontario.
Hizb-ut-Tahrir [Party of Liberation] is a radical, international pan-Islamic political organization. It is commonly associated with the goal of all Muslim countries: unifying as an Islamic state or caliphate, ruled by Islamic law, and with a head of state (caliph) elected by Muslims. Hizb-ut-Tahrir [HT], established in 1953 in East Jerusalem, has been banned in Russia, several Central Asian countries and many Middle Eastern Countries. It has also been banned in Germany on account of its desire to use force for political ends, as well as its anti-Semitism. It is even banned in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, already cauldrons of extremism.
Hizb ut-Tahrir rejects democracy as being un-Islamic and a Western system. But it members seem to have no qualms about using Western freedoms to promote their expansionist agenda and aggressive goals. Article 56 of their draft constitution for the proposed state describes conscription as a compulsory individual duty, for all citizens: "Every male Muslim, fifteen years and over, is obliged to undergo military training in readiness for jihad."
As the leader of Hizb ut-Tahrir America, Dr. Mohammed Malkawi, remarked at a conference in Jordon in June 2013: "Let Britain, America, and the entire West go to hell, because the Caliphate is coming, Allah willing."
It was incomprehensible that they were hosting a meeting in Canada. Media inquiries received wishy-washy answers, as in, "We can't really do anything unless there is proof of violence." Further, as the HT meeting was scheduled to take place on a weekend, it was apparently of no particular interest to the media.
Were they really planning to establish a Caliphate even in the West? As a woman alone would arouse suspicion, my husband accompanied me. I pulled out the burqa I had imported from Afghanistan earlier in the year for a play. It would perhaps be the first and last time I adjusted a burqa around my body and even part of my face, with just my eyes showing – and dark glasses, and my husband in traditional Pakistani garb.
The heavily guarded community center in which the meeting was held was gender-segregated -- men and women separate. Most of the attendees were young converts, who had brought their children. When my husband sat with crossed legs, he was told that is not the Islamic way, so he immediately uncrossed them, in order not to attract attention.
Organizations such as HT are careful how they operate; their speakers are known for saying one thing in English and another in their own language. That way they can instill hardcore ideas and an ideology without being accused of using hate speech. At this meeting the message was clear: It is incumbent on every Muslim living in a non-Muslim land to impose sharia law; to work towards an Islamic state, and to convert people as is their mandate. According to the HT website, "The meaning of Jihad being a duty of sufficiency is that we initiate the fighting of the enemy even if he did not attack us. If the Muslims failed to initiate the fighting at any given time, they would all be sinful."
This by the way is totally against the teaching of the Quran, which advises Muslims to follow the laws of the lands in which they live. One young man in the audience asked who the Caliph would be, and was told it would be from among them.
I left the meeting trembling, partly with anger and partly with fear: anger because I saw a straightforward attempt to hijack our freedoms and, by turning them against us, to impose sharia; fear because my fellow Muslims are allowing our faith be hijacked from us -- into the hands of theocrats and thugs.