Non-violent Extremists? Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia

Kenneth Ward

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI) is a radical Muslim organisation whose origins go back two and a half decades. It espouses an ideology crafted during the 1950s by the Palestinian, Taqiuddin an-Nabhani. Hizbut Tahrir's international leadership exerts control over its Indonesian branch's activities to an extent virtually unprecedented in Indonesian political life. Like other radical Muslim movements, HTI is bitterly anti-Western and rejects capitalism, democracy, liberalism and pluralism. Its objective is to turn Indonesia into an Islamic state that would be merged into a global caliphate or Muslim superstate. 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. It is likely to continue to grow and remain the source of a powerful critique of Indonesia's status quo. But this is no guarantee, however, that it will succeed even in the long term in positioning Indonesia for merger into an international caliphate.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)149-164
    JournalAustralian Journal of International Affairs
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


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