Jakarta – Former Army Strategic Reserves Command (Green Berets) Chief of Staff retired Major General Kivlan Zen discussion in Jakarta yesterday to made veiled criticisms of the administration of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo over last year's banning of the Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI).
Zen believes that the HTI is not aiming to replace Pancasila with an Islamic caliphate as Indonesia's stated ideology. According to Zen, the HTI movement is simply endeavoring to apply the guidelines of Almighty God in everyday life.
"In the HTI's way of thinking, their way of thinking is to apply Allah's guidelines in daily life. There's no need to be afraid", said Zen during a discussion titled "Differentiating the Political Agenda of Communism and the Caliphate in the 2019 Presidential Elections" in Jakarta on Saturday October 13.
Zen then compared the HTI with the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI), expressing the view that the PKI clearly pushed its ideology on society, namely communism in Indonesia.
Without citing any data, Zen said that the PKI slaughtered Islamic religious leaders and religious students who did not agree with the communist ideology. "So don't be afraid of the HTI, communism is more dangerous", he claimed.
During the same discussion, the head of the Ansor Youth Movement's [GP Ansor, the youth wing of Islamic mass organisation Nahdlatul Ulama] Strategic Relations and Study department, Mohammad Nuruzzaman, refuted Zen's claims.
The author of the book "Hizbut Tahrir's Dark Record" (Catatan Hitam Hizbut Tahrir) gave the example of the HT's actions in the Middle East such as military coup attempts in Iraq, Syria and Jordan.
Nuruzzaman said that Hizbut Tahrir is endeavoring to replace the democratic systems which they consider to be the path of non-believers (thagut) or the path of Satan. "We in GP Ansor are of the view that if they are ignored, the HTI could carry out a coup d'etat in Indonesia", he said.
Last year the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights (Menkumham) issued a decree withdrawing the legal status of the HTI. In response the HTI submitted an appeal with the State Administrative Court (PTUN). On May 7 this year however, the PTUN found that the Menkumham's decree was in accordance with prevailing procedures and regulations.
A second appeal by the HTI was also rejected by the High Court, following which HTI spokesperson Ismail Yusanto stated that they would submit an appeal with the Supreme Court (MA). Yusanto said that the appeal is part of their fight against the injustice that has befallen the HTI.
"God willing we will appeal", said Yusanto in an SMS message on Wednesday September 26 after CNN Indonesia sought confirmation on the appeal. (dhf/kid)
[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the article was "Kivlan Sebut HTI Cuma Jalankan Petunjuk Tuhan dalam Kehidupan".]