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Hizb ut-Tahrir Indonesia (HTI)

Hizb ut-Tahrir is a transnational Islamist movement that has been active in Indonesia since the early 1980s. It openly proclaimed its existence in the political arena of post-Suharto Indonesia in 2000 by calling itself the Hizb ut-Tahrir Indonesia (HTI). Its objective is to turn Indonesia into an Islamic state that would be merged into a global caliphate or Muslim superstate. HTI views Indonesias existing political system as illegitimate and thus refuses to participate in the general elections. It is antiWestern and rejects capitalism, democracy, liberalism and pluralism.

Unusually for a radical group, HTI strictly eschews violence, though its rhetoric is often strident and inflammatory. HTI also opposes terrorism, but contrives to depict terrorist attacks that have taken place in Indonesia as the result of Western manipulation and conspiracies. Although HTI retains some elements of the clandestine life it led when it was first set up, it has provoked surprisingly little hostility from the Indonesian political mainstream or security authorities.

According to Ken Ward: "[HTI] is likely to continue to grow and remain the source of a powerful critique of Indonesias status quo. It seems clear that HTIs outreach to mainstream politicians and organisations is effective in enhancing its legitimacy, and that its view of the world provides a compelling meta-narrative for its supporters. HTIs strategy, combining radical ideology, vitriolic rhetoric and nonviolent action, is a formidable one that may allow it to continue growing in a country where 62 percent of Indonesians have said that the West is bad for the Muslim community. But its members will have to be exceptionally patient and steadfast given that their objective is so ambitious and that there is no evidence that it can be soon achieved." [Ward, Ken. Non-violent extremists? Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia. Australian Journal of International Affairs, Vol 63, no 2, 149-164. June 2009.]



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Page last modified: 24-04-2017 16:05:34 ZULU