Members of the women's wing of Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia holding up posters during a demonstration in Makassar, South Sulawesi, in 2015. From left, the posters read, 'feminism is not in women's nature,' 'the Caliphate guards the honor of women' and 'neoliberalism has failed to uplift women.' (Antara Photo/Dewi Fajriani)

Jakarta Administration Cans Meeting With Women's Wing of HTI and 'Indonesia Without Feminists'


JUNE 14, 2019

Jakarta. The Jakarta administration's agency for child protection, empowerment and population control has come under fire for inviting the women's wing of the banned Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia – a hardline Muslim organization that calls for the establishment of a global Islamic caliphate based on shariah – to a meeting scheduled for Friday.

The HTI has been outlawed since July 2017, after the government officially disbanded it by presidential decree.

The agency also planned to invite the controversial anti-feminist group Indonesia Tanpa Feminis (Indonesia Without Feminists) to the meeting.

The invitation letter includes the women's wing of the HTI and Indonesia Without Feminists.
The invitation letter includes the women's wing of the HTI and Indonesia Without Feminists.

The meeting was eventually canceled after a wave of protests.

"Due to criticism of the two organizations we had invited, we have decided to cancel the meeting," Taufan Basri, head of the Jakarta administration's national and political unity division, said on Thursday.

The letter announcing the meeting's cancellation.
The letter announcing the meeting's cancellation.

Taufan said the meeting was canceled after communicating with the organizer, the Child Empowerment and Protection and Population Control Agency.

The agency initially planned to invite child protection and women's empowerment organizations to discuss the content of a poster calling for an end to violence against women and children displayed on the Jakarta MRT, which many claim is sexist. 

"We admit there was a mistake," agency head Tuty Kusumawati said in a statement on Thursday.

Tuty said she did not study the list of invitees in detail when she signed the invitation letter, because she assumed that her staff had already done so. 

"We will also carry out an internal investigation to determine the severity of the error and the sanctions against those involved in drawing up the invitation. Those involved will be suspended during the investigation," Tuty said.