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posted: 6/16/2012 5:21 PM

Islamic conference moves from Rolling Meadows to south suburb

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A controversial Islamic conference originally planned for Rolling Meadows now will be held from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday in South suburban Hickory Hills, organizers announced Saturday.

Organizers of the Khilafah Conference 2012, "Revolution: Liberation by Revelation -- Muslims Marching Toward Victory," began searching for a new venue earlier after the owner of its planned location, The Meadows Club, withdrew as the event host.

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Owner Madan Kulkarni said his business received "tons" of emails and calls from conservatives warning there would be protests if the event went on as scheduled.

Hizb ut Tahrir, the Islamic group planning the conference, agreed to cancel and search for a new venue, eventually choosing Lexington House at 7717 W. 95th St. in Hickory Hills.

About 1,000 people originally were expected to attend the conference to hear speeches about the causes, motivations and reasons for revolutions; the revolution in Syria; and forms of governance such as an Islamic state, secular state and democracy.

Some conservatives wanted the conference shut down for what they called Hizb ut Tahrir's possible terrorist ties, but the organization is not on the Secretary of State's list of designated foreign terrorist organizations. Hizb ut Tahrir has a few hundred members in its Chicago area chapter and has hosted conferences in Oak Brook in 2011 and Oak Lawn in 2009.

Daily Herald staff writer Madhu Krishnamurthy contributed to this report

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