JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia is to disband an Islamist group that calls for a state based on sharia law, citing concern it undermines a secular state ideology in the world’s biggest Muslim-majority country, officials said on Monday.
Chief security minister Wiranto said a government panel had evaluated Hizb ut-Tahrir Indonesia (HTI), which seeks to establish an Islamic caliphate, and decided to take legal steps to disband it.
The group is the Indonesian branch of Hizb ut-Tahrir, a global Islamist party that has been banned in some Arab and Central Asian countries.
“The activities of HTI strongly indicate that they are in conflict with the Pancasila and the constitution,” said Wiranto, who uses only one name.
Pancasila is Indonesia’s state ideology, which includes belief in god, the unity of the country, social justice and democracy, and which enshrines religious diversity in an officially secular system.
“Their activities create tensions in society, threaten security and order, and unity,” Wiranto added.
He denied that the decision meant the government was opposed to Islamic organisations.
(Reporting by Agustinus Beo Da Costa; Writing by Kanupriya Kapoor; Editing by Ed Davies and Robert Birsel)