Header Ads

Indonesia moves against Hizbut Tahrir

The Indonesian government has revoked hardline Islamic group Hizbut Tahrir's legal status, saying the organisation goes against the "spirit" of the country.
But exactly what impact it will have on the group in the world's most populous Muslim nation remains unclear, with a court challenge against the ban underway and experts suggesting it may simply rebrand.
The group stirred political tensions when it told Muslims not to vote for a non-Muslim in the recent Jakarta elections, which saw mass protests and resulted in the Christian governor losing his post and jailed for blasphemy.
Just days after announcing a presidential decree that would allow the banning of "mass organisations" spreading ideology against the country's constitution and 'Pancasila', Director General of Law Administration Freddy Harris said they were revoking Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia's legal status.
The organisation might say it respects Pancasila but its mission, which includes seeking to establish a caliphate operating under Sharia Law in Indonesia, is a clear contradiction, he said.
"HTI activities are against Pancasila and the spirit of Indonesia," he told reporters in Jakarta on Wednesday.
HTI has been operating in the country for decades, despite only becoming a legal entity in the last days of the Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono government and in the midst of President Joko Widodo winning the election in July 2014.
Legal expert Refly Harun said the move will mean that they can no longer organise or advertise public activities under the name HTI.
Bank accounts and property, however, would still be allowed to be held under their name, he told AAP.
"It's frozen only if let's say, they commit rebellion or something else. If that happened, then their assets could be frozen and seized by the state. Right now, it is actually a peaceful situation."
Associate Professor of Indonesian Politics at The Australian National University, Greg Fealy questioned whether such a ban would be effective.
"Hizbut Tahrir also has experience, both in Indonesia and abroad, of operating underground," he wrote in Lowy Institute's publication The Interpreter this week.
"HTI activists could simply create new labels for their activities or have no organisation affiliation at all, while secretly working through informal networks to pursue HTI's mission."
On Tuesday, HTI lodged a constitutional court challenge against the presidential decree which paved the way for their legal status to be revoked.
Their lawyer Yusril Ihza Mahendra told AAP they had been unfairly targeted and that the decree could be used for a president's own political ends.
HTI refused to say how many members it has in Indonesia.
Από το Blogger.