Indonesia to disband hard-line Islamic group Hizbut


JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — The top Indonesian security minister said Monday the country’s president has ordered the dissolution of a hard-line Islamic group that favors 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 in a brief meeting with reporters and said it was ordered by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.

Wiranto, who is the coordinating 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 Quran.

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 protests. 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.