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06/08/2022 Indonesia (International Christian Concern) – Police in Indonesia have arrested the leaders of an Islamic extremist group and charged them with treason following a recent motorcycle rally calling for an Islamic caliphate.   

Four senior leaders of the group Jamaah Khilafatul Muslimin were arrested on June 6 for their part in organizing the rally. Jamaah Khilafatul Muslimin is an offshoot of Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI), an extremist organization banned in 2017 for also calling for a caliphate. If found guilty, the suspects could be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison.   

More than forty motorcycles took part in the rally in Central Java province on May 29. Participants handed out leaflets that called for the end of a secular Indonesia and advocated for establishing a caliphate under Sharia law.   

A similar rally was held on the same day in Jakarta when dozens of uniformed motorcyclists held signs that read “Welcome to the Awakening of the Islamic Caliphate.”  

On May 31, before the leaders of the rally were arrested, the Communion of Churches in Indonesia (PGI) chairman Reverend Gomar Gultom and the army’s chief of staff, General Dudon Abdurahman, met at the PGI’s offices in Jakarta.   

In the meeting, Rev. Gultom urged the military to take a more prominent role in dealing with groups that threaten Indonesia’s national ideology, which he claims includes respect for all religions. Any group trying to sow discord or division, according to Rev. Gultom, “is the common enemy that we must fight against together.”  

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