The President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo has signed a decree that bans any organizations that it thinks are extremist groups, meaning “hard-line Islamist groups. The decree was signed early this week, and the Indonesian government is looking to ban Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI), a London based group with approximately 40,000 members. However, there is speculation that the government only wishes to ban HTI on theological grounds, not that they pose an immediate threat to Indonesia. This decree could be either good or bad for Christians. How the government selects extremist groups is based on what the government “thinks are extremist groups.”
07/15/2017 Indonesia (UCA News) – Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo has signed a decree that will allow the government to ban what it thinks are extremist groups.
“The decree was signed [by the president] two days ago,” coordinating minister on political, law and security affairs minister, Wiranto, told reporters on July 12.
Wiranto said the decree relates to mass organizations that seek to undermine national stability.
“Some mass organizations organize activities that are clearly against the national ideology and the constitution. This, of course, is a real threat to this nation’s existence and has created conflicts in society,” he said.
Wiranto was referring to hard-line Islamist groups such as Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI).
Hard-line groups have been accused of promoting growing religious intolerance in Indonesia and trying to undermine pluralism enshrined in the country’s constitution.
In May the government announced its intention to ban HTI — a London based group with an estimated 40,000 members — which had been accused of trying to turn Indonesia into an Islamist state. The ban is currently awaiting court approval.