Jakarta – An online petition titled "Stop Ijin FPI" (No Permit for the Islamic Defenders Front) has appeared on the change.org website. The petition contains a joint appeal to reject the extension of the hardline Islamic organisation's permit.
The reason given in the petition is that the organisation founded by hardline cleric Rizieq Shihab is a radical group, a supporter of violence and supporter of the Islamic group Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI), which was banned by the government for being against the state ideology of Pancasila.
The petition, which was initiated by Ira Bisyir on Tuesday May 7, is targeting 50,000 signatures. As of 6.55 pm West Indonesia Time (WIB), the petition had already been "signed" by 48,210 people. Bisyir is also inviting people to disseminate the petition widely saying that it is for the sake of creating an Indonesia that is safe and peaceful.
"Bearing in mind the expiry of the FPI's organisational permit in Indonesia, let us together reject the extension of their permit because this organisation is a radical group, a supporter of violence, and supporter of the HTI", reads Bisyir's statement in the petition.
The FPI central leadership board (DPP) acknowledges that its registration as an ormas (social or mass organisation) with the Ministry of Home Affairs will expire in June 2019. In connection with this the FPI will be submitting a request for re-registration for the next five years.
This was emphasised to CNN Indonesia by FPI DPP spokesperson Slamet Maarif on Tuesday in response to the change.org petition.
Maarif however refuted that the FPI permit as an organisation has to be extended. According to Maarif, mass organisations such as the FPI are already registered, meaning when this expires they have to re-register.
"It's not a permit but a registration. Yeah we will re-register", said Maarif who is also the chairperson of the Alumni 212 and national campaign spokesperson for the Prabowo Subianto and Sandiaga Uno presidential ticket.
Maarif, in the name of the FPI, said that they believe that the reasons given for rejecting the FPI in the change.org petition are just cheap slander. According to Maarif, slander such as this is used by those who do not want to acknowledge the FPI's role in humanitarian activities.
"[It's just] cheap slander. An old tune which they're replaying. Radical in helping victims of natural disasters, how come they don't like us?", said Maarif. "Tell them to learn to read, don't be provocateurs", he continued. (ryn/gil)
In a Tempo article published on the same day, FPI general chairperson Sobri Lubis said the group was not concerned about the petition saying that people who want the FPI to be disbanded are groups who like to commit maksiat (immoral acts in violation of God's law). The full article can be read here: https://nasional.tempo.co/read/1203148/fpi-sebut-kelompok-doyan-maksiat-yang-inginkan-ormas-itu-bubar/.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Hampir 50 Ribu Orang Teken Petisi Setop Izin FPI".]