Many migrant workers find solace in extremist groups, as they give them a sense of belonging. (Antara Photo/Irwansyah Putra)

Government to Disband Hizbut Tahrir in Denouncement of Extremist Ideologies

BY :YEREMIA SUKOYO

MAY 08, 2017

Jakarta. The government said on Monday (08/05) it will pursue the disbandment of Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia, or HTI, on the basis that the organization's activities contradict values enshrined in state ideology Pancasila and the 1945 Constitution.

After a series of prolonged assessments, government representatives concluded that the "activities of HTI indicate that [the organization] runs afoul of Pancasila and the 1945 Constitution," Chief Security Minister Wiranto said, as reported by Kompas.com.

Calls to disband the organization have mounted in recent months, amid renewed public concerns that its activities jeopardize national unity. The organization's dissolution is supported by human rights activists, who emphasize the importance of dismantling HTI following proper "legal procedures."

"After taking a close look at various [HTI activities], as well as taking into account widespread public opinion on the matter, the government has decided to take concrete steps to ultimately disband HTI," Wiranto said.

Government officials believe HTI's activities and pronouncements strongly contradict the goals, principles and traits enshrined in Pancasila, as regulated under the Law on Mass Organizations. Wiranto added that the organization has encouraged conflict and has worked to undermine national unity.

National Police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian said his agency will provide evidence to state prosecutors as they work to disband HTI.

"Our role is to give information and data regarding HTI activities that contradict the values enshrined in Pancasila and the constitution," Tito said, as quoted from state news agency Antara.

According to Indonesian law, the responsibility of disbanding an organization such as HTI falls on the Attorney General's Office upon request by the Justice and Home Affairs ministries.

Hizbut Tahrir is an international organization aimed at establishing a pan-Islamic theocracy in the Muslim world by removing existing, pluralist governments, whether by coercion or other means. The organization was originally founded by Syaikh Taqiuddin al-Nabhani in 1953 as a Sunni Muslim group based out of Jerusalem.

The organization was introduced to Indonesia in 1983 by an Islamic cleric of Jordanian-Lebanese descent, named Abdur-Rahman al-Baghdadi. HTI remains a largely campus-based movement with well-attended rallies and meetings unsuppressed by government agencies.

Indonesia has been called the party's "strongest base," where in 2007 tens of thousands of Jakartans gathered in a local stadium to show support for the organization's proposed pan-Islamic caliphate.

According to non-profit International Crisis Group, HTI may have ties to violent extremist groups such as Jemaah Islamiyah, the terrorist network responsible for the 2002 Bali bombings.

Despite its nonviolent nature, the organization has been banned in several countries.

Former Intelligence Agency (BIN) chief AM. Hendropriyono said HTI's ideology and goal of attaining a pan-Islamic caliphate has no future in Indonesia.

"An Islamic caliphate would not preserve political and social rights for minorities. Indonesia guarantees the rights of every citizen without exception," Hendropriyono said.

Over the past six months, Hizbut Tahrir and its members have played an active role  alongside the Guardians of the Indonesian Ulema Council's Fatwas (GNPF-MUI)  in organizing mass demonstrations aimed at the ouster and imprisonment of incumbent Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama.

SHARE