Jakarta. A group of Islamic organizations urged their members on Monday (30/10) not to vote for the representatives of political parties that approved the Law on Mass Organizations, and to challenge it through legal and constitutional measures.
The hardline Guardians of the Indonesian Ulema's Fatwas (GNPF Ulama), previously known as GNPF MUI, and other Islamic organizations said in a joint statement that the government had forced the political process to approve the new that allows for the disbandment of mass organizations.
Lawmakers passed the stricter government-proposed regulation into law during a plenary session of the House of Representatives on Oct. 24.
"GNPF Ulama and Islamic organizations see the substance of the law as really not beneficial to Muslims, because it tends to limit and restrict Islamic preaching," the group said. "We urge [...] to always be aware of the potential negative impact of the law."
The group called on its followers to take legal steps to challenge the law.
The approval of the law has sparked many controversies and caused division among lawmakers.
Six of the 10 political party factions in the House decided to approve the regulation with three calling for further revisions. The Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra), Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) and National Mandate Party (PAN) rejected the proposed regulation, while the Democratic Party chose the middle way.
Democratic Party chairman Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono called for a revision of the new law on Monday, threatening to reject it otherwise.
"The Democratic Party's stance is firm and clear; we agree that the presidential regulation in lieu of law must be revised. The Democratic Party will reject it if the essence of the regulation on mass organizations is not revised," Yudhoyono said, as quoted by BeritaSatu TV.
He said the party has been preparing a proposal to revise the Law on Mass Organizations.
The new law replaces the original presidential regulation issued four months ago to revoke a stipulation in the 2013 law requiring the government to take mass organizations to court before disbanding them.
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo issued the regulation to disband the non-violent Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia earlier this year after the government accused the organization of threatening national unity by advocating for a global Islamic caliphate.