Indonesia to disband hard-line Islamic group Hizbut

Indonesia to disband hard-line Islamic group Hizbut

JAKARTA, Indonesia — The top Indonesian security minister said Monday the country’s president has ordered the dissolution of a hard-line Islamic group that seeks a global caliphate for Muslim nations and was behind massive blasphemy protests in Jakarta.

Wiranto, who goes by one name, announced the action against Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia at a brief news conference and said it was ordered by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.

Wiranto, who is the co-ordinating minister for politics, law and security, said the “activities of HTI are strongly indicated to be running against Pancasila (Indonesia’s pluralistic state ideology) and the constitution.”

The move comes after Jokowi’s government was shaken by massive protests in the past six months by conservative Muslim groups against the minority Christian governor of Jakarta, who is accused of blaspheming the Qur’an.

Wiranto said HTI’s activities “have clearly caused conflict in society” and threaten the integrity of the state. He said dissolution of the group would be achieved through the courts.

Hizbut was one of several hard-line groups behind the Jakarta protests that undermined Indonesia’s reputation abroad for practicing a moderate form of Islam. It is active in dozens of countries despite being banned in some of them and began expanding in Asia several years ago.

Hizbut wants to unite all Muslim countries in a globe-spanning bloc ruled by strict Shariah law. It has a record of targeting university students and professionals, working within countries to try to persuade people to overthrow their secular governments. Some experts see it as an incubator of radicalism that leads to terrorist attacks.

Rochmat Labib, the group’s chairman in Indonesia, referred questions to an official spokesman who couldn’t immediately be reached.

In a rare interview with Western media in 2011, Labib told The Associated Press that Hizbut’s “grand plan” in the following decade was to reinforce lack of trust and hope in the government. “That’s what we are doing now: converting people from democracy, secularism and capitalism to Islamic ideology,” he said.

Wiranto said the decision to dissolve Hizbut does not mean the government is against Islamic organizations.

Hizbut members were not among those arrested for suspected treason in December and February. Indonesian police alleged that opponents of Jokowi, including some high-profile Indonesians, plotted to overthrow the government by using the Jakarta protests to cause chaos and occupy government buildings.

The group does not have any record of violence in Indonesia but the government’s move to ban it was defended by mainstream Muslim organizations and some rights groups.

Said Aqil Siraj, chairman of Nahdhatul Ulama, Indonesia’s largest Muslim group, said it supports the government’s “firm action” against Hizbut.

Hendardi, a founder of the Setara Institute for Democracy and Peace, said Hizbut’s ideology has “massively and systematically penetrated our society through campuses and religious assemblies.”

It should be considered a threat to Indonesia’s religious diversity and democracy, said Hendardi, who also goes by one name.

Niniek Karmini And Ali Kotarumalos, The Associated Press

Just Posted

Well-known B.C. magician ready to charm Chilliwack audiences

Shawn Farquhar brings his Cabaret of Wonders magic show back to the Chilliwack Cultural Centre

Unity Christian the team to beat in 1A basketball

UC’s senior girls are the number one ranked team in B.C., a first in the school’s history.

Woman charged in Abbotsford mall stabbing served time for 2001 killing

Victim in Edmonton killing was stabbed eight times with kitchen knife

Trial date scheduled for man charged with killing Abbotsford officer

Oscar Arfmann slated to go to trial in New Westminster in January 2019

Fraser Valley Thunderbirds top Thompson Blazers to start 2018

The B.C. Major Midget Hockey League team won both games in a weekend road trip to Kelowna.

VIDEO: Orcas put on a show near Hornby Island

Louis Jobodin shares photos and video of his experience

VIDEO: B.C. Lions sign defensive back T.J. Lee to contract for upcoming season

The four-year veteran had a team-high four interceptions and 49 tackles last season with B.C.

How an immigrant to Canada helped Donald Trump prove his mental health

Test that cleared Trump was developed by doctor associated with McGill and Sherbrooke universities

Premier touches on multiple topics ahead of Asia trade trip

Housing and childcare are expected to be the focus of the BC NDP’s first budget in February.

Premier offers condolences to family of boy, 15, killed in Vancouver crossfire

John Horgan: ‘No stone is to be left unturned until we find the perpetrator of this heinous crime’

VIDEO: Explorers uncover Canada’s deepest cave in Fernie

The cave, named Bisaro Anima, was confirmed to have broken the record on New Year’s Day

Vernon to host largest Special Olympics B.C. Winter Games in 2019

Games to be held Feb. 21-23, with more than 800 athletes expected to take part

Ex-BC Liberal staffer focused on ‘favourable’ ethnic communities in scandal: lawyer

Former communications director Brian Bonney’s sentencing hearing for breach of trust is underway

Council tells TransLink commission to make sure road pricing is fair

Maple Ridge tells road pricing commission to make sure system is fair

Most Read