Indonesia is constantly held up as an example of “moderate Islam.” If that is true, how did there come to be 1,300 members of Hizb ut-Tahrir in the civil service, universities, the military and police? Why didn’t the Indonesians reject this “perversion of Islam”?
The Hizb ut-Tahrir organization was set up in the “Palestinian” territories in 1952. The party’s headquarters are located in London. Hizb ut-Tahrir’s goal is to overthrow constitutional regimes in Muslim states and create a caliphate, a single Islamic state.
Indonesia, the country held up as the shining example of a moderate, modern Muslim country. And, by jove, it is. If Indonesia is so “moderate,” why is Hizb ut-Tahrir so popular there? How has it managed to infiltrate in so many areas? Yet we are constantly admonished that Indonesia shows that Islam and democracy are not incompatible, and that Islam need have nothing to do with absolutist rule or oppression of the kuffar, much less terrorism. What is happening in Indonesia now shows how true that has been all along.
“Indonesia’s bid to root out Islamists throws spotlight on universities”, by Ed Davies, Reuters, November 6, 2017:
NUSA DUA, Indonesia, (Reuters) – When students at Indonesia’s prestigious Institute of Agricultural Studies swore an oath to support a caliphate in the world’s largest Muslim-majority country last year, a video of the event went viral and the government grew alarmed.
Months later, Indonesian President Joko Widodo banned the decades-old hardline group Hizb ut-Tahrir Indonesia (HTI), which organised the student pledge, and declared its goal to set up a caliphate was incompatible with the constitution and could threaten security.
Last month, under prodding from the government, thousands of students across the nation made an anti-radicalism pledge. It followed an unprecedented gathering in late September of some 3,000 academics in Bali, who also pledged to fight extremism and defend the secular constitution.
The campaign against extremism in education comes amid a rise of a hardline, politicised Islam in Indonesia, which until recently had occupied the fringe of the nation’s politics.
“Radical organizations can spread like a virus in universities,” said Professor Muhammad Sirozi, rector of the State Islamic University Raden Fatah in Palembang on Sumatra.
“These are not the organizations that students form themselves, but they are from outside,” he said at a briefing that outlined ways to help universities tackle radicalism following the Bali conference.
The campaign to root out boosters of the caliphate is not just confined to schools.
A document collated by Indonesia’s intelligence agency lists 1,300 HTI members in senior posts in the civil service, universities, the military and police.
An intelligence source confirmed the authenticity of the document, which was reviewed by Reuters. Some of those on it declined to comment after being contacted, but HTI’s former spokesman Ismail Yusanto said it did include some of its members.
Illustrating how a politicised brand of Islam has gained traction, nearly 20 percent of high school and university students in Indonesia support the establishment of a caliphate, a survey showed last week.
Moreover, around one in four of the 4,200 Muslim students in the survey by pollster Alvara said they were, to varying degrees, ready to wage jihad to achieve this. [nL4N1N823F]
Hizb ut-Tahrir, an international organisation, established by a Palestinian Islamic scholar in 1953, has been banned in some Arab, Asian and European countries. One of its former members in Indonesia is Bahrun Naim, who went to fight for Islamic State in Syria and is accused of masterminding a series of attacks in Indonesia since early last year.
An officially registered organisation in Indonesia since 2000, HTI has sought a judicial review in the constitutional court over its disbanding.
“They never gave us a chance to defend ourselves. Is it not an authoritarian and repressive action?” said HTI spokesman Yusanto, who likened the crackdown to the tactics used against opponents under former strongman President Suharto.
Asked whether HTI was still operating, Yusanto said no one could ban members from their duty to do “Dakwah” (missionary work) and those activities would continue.
Higher Education Minister Muhammad Nasir told reporters in July that HTI members were lecturers “in many universities” – Indonesia has 394 state universities and about 3,000 private ones. He warned they could be sacked unless they proffer loyalty to Indonesia’s secular ideology Pancasila, or “five principles”.
Yusanto said, however, no lecturers who were HTI members had been sacked. A Home Ministry spokesman said a task force set up to find members in the civil service had not found any so far.
One former HTI member, Ayik Heriansyah, said the group tries to enlist support from influential members of society and sympathisers in the security forces to overthrow governments, or what it terms “the handing over of power”.
Universities have been a key recruiting ground….
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