CHICAGO, July 20 (UPI) -- A conference on the decline of capitalism attended by the Hizb ut-Tahrir Islamic political movement sparked concern at its weekend event on American soil.
Hizb ut-Tahrir attended a conference at the Hilton of Oak Lawn in south suburban Chicago to deliver a message to around 800 supporters, saying capitalism is responsible for much of the world's poverty, hunger and war.
The Aqsa School, an Illinois school that bases its curriculum on the basic principles of Islam, had canceled its agreement to host the conference, saying it was unaware Hizb ut-Tahrir was slated to deliver an anti-capitalist message.
Around 75 protesters demonstrated against the Chicago conference.
Hizb ut-Tahrir emerged in 1952 as a political movement bent on establishing an Islamic caliphate in Central Asia. It is one of the few Islamic political movements that expressed open opposition to attacks on the Taliban in Pakistan.
Though the group claims to favor peaceful opposition over militancy, members of the group based in Pakistan said they were preparing for a "bloodless military coup" in order to indoctrinate the region by "military means" if necessary.
Mohammad Malkawi, a spokesman for the group in the United States, told the Chicago Sun-Times that Hizb ut-Tahrir was not affiliated with any militant group, adding such claims were "without merit."