A month before the official declaration of the Jokowi regime to disband Hizb ut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI), Kwik Kian Gie in his article published by Kompas on April 3, 2017, titled Statesman and Politician, revealed a concern for how Indonesia is a country with a lack of statesmen, rather it is actually surrounded by “political animals”. What is the difference between a statesman and a political animal? Kwik Kian Gie explained that the statesman is a person whose goal is purely to welfare his people equally, while the political animal uses the arena of state administration for self-interest with the principle that justifies any means no matter how dirty it is. So, political animals are usually hypocrites and good at imaging themselves as great people. Hidayat Banjar in The Daily Analysis (11/04) also deepened this discourse. For political animals, nothing is more important than interest. There is also no such thing as ideology, vision, mission, and values (vmv).
This article seeks to explain the relationship between the controversial policy of the Jokowi regime to disband Hizb ut Tahrir Indonesia with the discourse of the political animals and statesmen in two parts. The first part examines the big blunder of Jokowi’s regime in the disbandment of HTI, while the second part addresses the cause of the regime’s lack of capacity due to the scarcity of statesmen in Indonesia.
Blunder of the Political-Animal Regime
The term “political animal” in an Islamic terminology known as Ruwaibidhah (foolish rulers); those rulers are whom Rasulullah ﷺ had warned us of since 14 centuries ago,
«سَيَأْتِي عَلَى النَّاسِ سَنَوَاتٌ خَدَّاعَاتُ يُصَدَّقُ فِيهَا الْكَاذِبُ وَيُكَذَّبُ فِيهَا الصَّادِقُ وَيُؤْتَمَنُ فِيهَا الْخَائِنُ وَيُخَوَّنُ فِيهَا الْأَمِينُ وَيَنْطِقُ فِيهَا الرُّوَيْبِضَةُ» قِيلَ: وَمَا الرُّوَيْبِضَةُ؟ قَالَ: «الرَّجُلُ التَّافِهُ فِي أَمْرِ الْعَامَّةِ»
“People will face years misleading and cheating where the liar will be taken as truthful and truthful will be taken as liar; betrayer and treasonable person will be trusted and the trustworthy will be betrayed and the Ruwaibidhah will speak,” The Prophet was asked who the Ruwaibidhah are. He said: “The worthless and virtueless who will take charge of peoples’ affairs.” (Reported by Ibn Majah & Imam Ahmad on the authority Abi Hurayrah (ra))
This hadith is about a group of people who are ignorant about religious and valid affairs. They are slaves of lust and this world. They raise the flag of Jahiliyyah. They call for the misguided and for the destructive ideologies and isms, such as capitalism, socialism, secularism, liberalism, and democracy. They aspire to be rulers, when they are ignorant, insolent, wicked, and contemptible. They are not the ones who seek the truth, nor are they the people who hold it honestly, rather they are liars who are clever to claim it.
In the context of the disbandment of HTI, it clearly shows the character of the Ruwaibidhah regime in Indonesia who is anti-Islam, intellectually defeated, and careless in their step. The narrative they propose to disband HTI with includes preventing the development of threats to the integrity of the nation, preventing divisions, and HTI is said to be contradictory to the constitution of the country where its national commitment is questioned because it carries the issue of the Khilafah state. However, we will find at least four big blunders in this policy narrative concerning the disbandment of HTI:
- Recklessly violates the procedure of the Act
Constitutional law expert, Yusril Ihza Mahendra, stated that the government cannot just disband national-scope mass organizations with legal status unless they had persuasively given three warning letters prior to disbanding. This is based on Law No. 17 of 2013 on Mass Organizations. If the persuasive steps are ignored, then the Government may apply to disband the organisation to the court. In court, the mass organisation that the Government wants to disband will be given the opportunity to defend itself by filing evidence, witnesses, and experts to be heard before the court. The decision of the district court may then be appealed to the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, HTI Spokesman, Ismail Yusanto, asserted in his press statement that there have never been any official warning letters given to HTI so far. The government suddenly conducted a unilateral press conference in the media as if it wanted to lead public opinion that HTI is a subversive movement.
- Claiming to be Democratic, rather it is a Despotic Tyrant in style
Noorhaidi Hasan, a professor of Islamic politics at the State Islamic University of Sunan Kalijaga, said that the government’s plan to disband HTI is a big blunder. “The government seems to make a big blunder by disbanding HTI,” he said in a short message to Tempo on Monday May 8, 2017. HTI said the author of the book, “Laskar Jihad: Islam, Militancy and the Quest for Identity in Post-New Order Indonesia” (2006), said that HTI is not doing any systematic steps to undermine power. According to him, HTI should not be disbanded. “Even in the Netherlands, HTI is allowed. But instead, we are following suit of an authoritarian state like Jordan by disbanding it,” he said. Noorhaidi said that the path of democracy being pioneered and defended since the reformasi era, including facing radical groups, has apparently been slowly abandoned. “I am afraid that authoritarianism is now lurking upon us once again. If the government easily disbands organizations without a legal process, that’s clearly authoritarianism.”
Hizb ut Tahrir has consistently rejected the concept and philosophy of democracy, but it also does not mean approving authoritarianism, instead Hizb ut Tahrir rejects and exposes the ugliness of all non-Islamic systems. Hizb ut Tahrir is always consistent with its views, unlike the regime of Jokowi who’s claiming to be democratic but in fact acts as a despot,.
- Blatant Double Standard
The narrative that HTI has no national commitment needs to be stripped back. “Nowadays there are mass organizations and state apparatuses claiming to serve Pancasila (national principle) but incredibly is conducting with corruption. They are trading another mining business, and this creates poverty as well as strengthens the culture of bribery and destroys Pancasila. It destroys the Unitary Republic of Indonesia and it should be dealt with firmly,” said Chairman of PP Muhammadiyah on Law and Human Rights Section, Busyro Muqoddas, as reported by merdeka.com, Monday (8/5). Busyro assumes that the issues and steps to disband mass organizations that are being carried out by the government are part of political interests. The issue of disbandment, Busyro said, should not be only for the diversion of people’s concentration to get politically educated ahead of the 2019 election campaigns.
Reform Institute Executive Director Yudi Latif highlights the transactional political practices that underlies the recruitment and selection of leaders of state institutions. High-cost political practices, even before the election, have made the House of Representatives –those who are in charge of selecting leaders of state institutions— often cannot be separated from these transactional ways in their duty. In the end, these transactional practices have given birth to pragmatic individuals who no longer have a noble call to serve the state and country, but everything is calculated compulsively on profit and loss for their own satisfaction.
It is astonishing that HTI, who has been tirelessly struggling for the people’s rights, rejecting oil and gas liberalization, rejecting Papua to be separated from Indonesia, rejecting the increase of prices of BBM (fuel oil) and TDL (Basic Electricity Tariff), and rejecting Freeport, LGBT and free trade that threatens the sovereignty of the state as well as the honor and prosperity of the people, is accused of being an anti-Pancasila mass organization that has no national commitment! Moreover, HTI has never been involved in any corruption cases; it has never eaten state money nor competed for state projects. Who is exactly the anti-Pancasila one?
- Bias and Islamophobia
The narrative that the idea of Khilafah carried by HTI is considered contradictory to the foundation of the state has spread to a number of communities, including universities. This caused the Minister of Research and Technology to respond by asking the rectors to prevent radicalism in campuses. The request was conveyed in the Declaration of Spirit to Defend the Country at UNNES on Saturday, May 6, two days before the official government statement to disband HTI.
Responding to this call, Prof. Daniel Mohammad Rosyid, Professor of ITS, sharply expressed his view that this call is not based on a valid sociological analysis of the emergence of radicalism.
Firstly, radicalism is a global phenomenon. In Indonesia, radicalism is almost always linked directly with Islam although this is not frankly expressed. This method is precisely dangerous. The biggest mistake of the mainstream media is not the spread of hoaxes but the concealment of facts. The mistake of the media is not only confusing the truth (haqq) with falsehood (batil) but also with the concealment of the truth. Radicalism occurs everywhere, including in countries predominantly with Catholic, Christian, Buddhist, and Hindu populations. Secondly, the cause of the emergence of radicalism is only one that is injustice and inequality. Therefore, radical attitudes are not the causes, but the consequences of injustice and inequality allowed to be rampant by those rulers who ought to uphold justice. Thirdly, secularism –as the idea of separating religion from politics— that is followed by many nations, is in fact radical. Every inspiring and motivating ism is always radical.
Thus, from their viewpoint, this biased definition of radicalism in the government’s narrative and call, together with the thickness of an Islamophobic atmosphere in their policy of deradicalisation and the controversy over HTI’s disbandment, are clearly visible.
Thus, the blunder of the political-animal regime is that they are clearly desperate to silence the waves of support from the Indonesian people for Sharia and the Khilafah that are echoing throughout the archipelago. From year to year, this voice that longs for Islamic Sharia grows louder and louder even though the secular media are very minimal in covering it. This straight-out hypocrisy, shown by the political-animal regime in Indonesia to silence HTI, is just another proof of the failure of the secular Western system as well as an explanation of why more and more Muslims reject secular democracy and embrace Islam as a system capable of determining their political, economic, and social future.
يُرِيدُونَ لِيُطْفِئُوا نُورَ اللَّهِ بِأَفْوَاهِهِمْ وَاللَّهُ مُتِمُّ نُورِهِ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ الْكَافِرُونَ
“They want to extinguish the light of Allah with their mouths, but Allah will perfect His light, although the disbelievers dislike it.”
Member of the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir