A man is seen passing the offices of Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia in Jakarta in this May 2017 file photo. (Antara Photo/Adeng Bustomi)

HTI Is Not a Missionary Organization, but a Political Movement: Intelligence Chief


MAY 12, 2017

Jakarta. Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia, or HTI, the local chapter of an international movement that aims at establishing a caliphate comprising all Muslim countries, cannot be considered "a missionary organization," the intelligence chief said on Friday (12/05).

Having reviewed activities of the group, which has been present in Indonesian since 1983, the State Intelligence Agency, or BIN, considers it a political movement.

"In many countries, both democratic and Islamic ones, Hizbut Tahrir has been banned," BIN chief Budi Gunawan told the Jakarta Globe.

The organization is banned in Saudi Arabia, Netherlands, Malaysia, Turkey, France, Tunisia, Denmark, Jordan, German, Egypt, Spain, Uzbekistan, Russia and Pakistan.

The Indonesian government is going to disband HTI, which has millions of followers across the country.

The state seeks to disband the organization through a court proceeding, since its ideology is seen as contravening the Constitution and Pancasila.

"In the interest of the state and its sovereignty, disbandment of HTI is legally valid," Budi said.

Indonesia honors the right of its citizens, in accordance with the principles of democracy, but it has its laws and constitution, the former deputy chief of the National Police said.

"Indonesia certainly doesn't have to tolerate any anti-Pancasila movements or civil society organizations that challenge the state ideology," Budi added.

For the sake of the national interest "emergency rules can be applied in a situation of danger" to maintain the unity of the country, Budi said.

HTI is now seeking a backup. On Wednesday, its representative met with Deputy House Speaker Fadli Zon at his office in Senayan, South Jakarta.

"The government's allegations that HTI is anti-Pancasila are untrue. They [HTI] have appended [the principles of] Pancasila and the 1945 Constitution to their internal code of conduct," Fadli said.

"This organization has been around for quite some time and has been recognized by Indonesians. They are present in all provinces and some 300 cities across Indonesia," Fadli said, adding that he is convinced the government has not made any in-depth analysis to support its decision to disband HTI.