The Quest for Hizbut Tahrir in Indonesia

By Burhanuddin Muhtadi

Asian Journal of Social Science | Vol. 37, No. 4, 2009, pp. 623-645 (23)

This article describes the nature of Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI) in the post-Suharto era and its views on the resurrection of the global Islamic caliphate, its opposition to the notions of democracy and nation-state. In the aftermath of Suharto’s fall in 1998, HTI has seized the opportunity to promise the establishment of a fair society under a global Islamic caliphate. The rapid rise of HTI has, more so than most other Islamist groups, been accentuated by the growing public dissatisfaction with the post-Suharto or reformasi period. There is an increasing perception in larger society that political, economic, and law reforms introduced in the reformasi era has had no significant impact to improve people’s daily lives. This deteriorating condition under post-Suharto regimes has successfully justified the HTI’s claims that Indonesia needs a radical and comprehensive system, or what HTI coined as al-khalifah al-Islamiyyah (Islamic caliphate). Looking at HTI’s grand narrative of the global Islamic caliphate and its refutation of the ideas of democracy and nation-state, it is clear that HTI has taken a number of negative steps in the direction of democratic consolidation in Indonesia.

Rachel Ehrenfeld and Alyssa A. Lappen, “Terror Rising,” FrontPage Magazine, Dec. 7, 2005.

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Alyssa A. Lappen is a U.S.-based investigative journalist. She is the former Managing Editor at the Leeb Group (2012-2017); a former Senior Fellow of the American Center for Democracy (2005-2008); and a former Senior Editor of Institutional Investor (1993-1999), Working Woman (1991-1993) and Corporate Finance (1991). She served six of her 12 years at Forbes (1978-1990) as an Associate Editor. Ms. Lappen was also a staff reporter at The New Haven Register (1975-1977). During a decade as a freelance, her work appeared in Big Peace, Pajamas Media, Front Page Magazine, American Thinker, Right Side News, Family Security Matters, the Washington Times and many other Internet and print journals. Ms. Lappen also contributed to the Terror Finance Blog, among others. She supports the right of journalists worldwide to write without fear or restriction on politics, governments, international affairs, terrorism, terror financing and religious support for terrorism, among other subjects. Ms. Lappen is also an accomplished poet. Her first full-length collection, The Minstrel's Song, was published by Cross-Cultural Communications in April 2015. Her poems have been published in the 2nd 2007 edition of Blood to Remember: American Poets on the Holocaust and both 2007 issues of Wales' award-winning Seventh Quarry: Swansea Poetry Magazine. Dozens of her poems have appeared in print and online literary journals and books. She won the 2000 annual Ruah: A Journal of Spiritual Poetry chapbook award and has received a Harvard Summer Poetry Prize and several honorable mentions.

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