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

Delayed grant decisions could send new Crystal Pool costs soaring

Delays could cost the City of Victoria up to $500,000/month more in construction costs

Campfire ban coming into effect across West Coast

The Coastal Fire Centre says bans will begin on Wednesday

UPDATE: Woman hit by car in parking lot 93 years old

Driver of sedan backs into older adult walking through lot

Stolen West Shore vehicle found in ocean off Oak Bay

SUV was submerged 90 feet from shore at Cattle Point

Delivery truck downs power lines in Sidney

A tractor trailer delivering eggs clipped a low-hanging wire on Second St.… Continue reading

Trudeau asks transport minister to tackle Greyhound’s western pullout

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s asked Transport Minister Marc Garneau to find solutions in Greyhound Canada’s absence.

Hub for mental health and addictions treatment opens at B.C. hospital

St. Paul’s Hospital HUB is an acute medical unit that includes 10 patient beds

Saanich Police investigate store robbery

Store video captures image of suspect

Restaurant Brands International to review policy over poaching employees

One of Canada’s largest fast-food company to review ‘no-poach’ franchise agreements

Calgary family’s vacation ends in tragedy on Texas highway

Three people died and four others were injured in the crash

Union construction cost competitive, B.C. Building Trades say

Non-union firms can bid on infrastructure, but employees have to join international unions

Trudeau to shuffle cabinet ahead of Liberals’ team for 2019

Trudeau could lighten the work loads of cabinet ministers who currently oversee more than one portfolio

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 17

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Car calls 911 on possible impaired B.C. driver

A luxury car automatically calls Princeton police to scene of crash involving alcohol

Most Read