Not Threatening The Homeland
“Republika” daily newspaper edition of Wednesday, August 12th 2015, published an interesting article entitled, “Gerakan Keagamaan Transnasional Mengancam NKRI?” (Transnational Religious Movements Threaten the Homeland?). The article is actually a research conducted by Balitbang Diklat Kemenag (Research and Training Institute of the Ministry of Religious Affairs), which was published on its website on the 23rd of July entitled, “Perlukah Risaukan Gerakan Keagamaan Transnasional di Indonesia?” (Should We be Worried About Transnational Religious Movements in Indonesia?)
The study basically wants to answer the questions whether the presence of transnational religious movements such as Salafi, Shi’a, Jamaat Tabligh, Muslim Brotherhood (IM) and Hizb ut-Tahrir Indonesia (HTI) endanger the existence of the Homeland and the established religious organizations? The aspects discussed in the study are the intellectual network, activities, funding and institutional work.
The article does not explain how and when the study was carried out and what methodology was used. However, it has effectively explained how exactly the positions transnational religious movements in the context of socio-religious and socio-political changes in Indonesia. The most important result of the study is the conclusion that the existence of transnational religious movements in Indonesia do not pose dangers the homeland religiously, politically, and economically. The argument given is that they are Indonesian citizens.
The study then recommends the Government in this regard the Ministry of Religious Affairs not to worry about the presence of transnational religious movements. The movements should even be accepted as a fact that they basically complement religious services already provided by the established religious organizations. Salafi, for example, focuses on the dakwah to make people understand salafus-Salih, thus completing Muhammadiyah considered starting to split up upon the issues of social, education and economy programs. If necessary, the government should help to build the shared intellectual networks to create the synergy of religious movements among religious organizations.
Politically, the existence of transnational religious movements should not be worried. The reason is that the current political balance has been established so that it is difficult to imagine that their ideals will be realized comprehensively.
Rather, the political parties and the religious organizations can build a network so that the moral values of religions can be relied upon in any decision-making of the legislation in the parliament. Therefore the Ministry of Religious Affairs, particularly Dirjen Bimas Islam (the Directorate General of Islamic Guidance), should facilitate the meeting between the transnational religious movements with the local established religious organizations and the political parties in Indonesia to create a common understanding with regard to the political interests of religious communities in Indonesia.
This is very a interesting research. The results of the research are even more interesting which clearly state that the transnational religious movements, including HTI, are not harmful or threatening the homeland. Except dealing with the existence of Shi’a which is controversial, the conclusion of the research, especially related to HTI, is very appropriate. HTI does not threaten and should not be considered to threaten the state. According to the study, though HTI discourses the issue of khilafah, it should be understood that Muslims must have the solidarity of other Muslim brothers wherever they are as the teachings of brotherhood in Islam.
The conclusion is clearly against the statements of a few people or groups which keep on trying to discredit HTI, by repeatedly stating that HTI is dangerous or gives threat to the Homeland. A petition was made on the website http://www.change.org to disband HTI entitled DISBAND HIZB UT-TAHRIR INDONESIA because HTI THREATENS NKRI (Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia).
However, the public may already have similar conclusion with that of the research conducted by the Ministry of Religious Affaits. Therefore, the petition does not gain support, and eventually it is closed.
The conclusion of the study leaves important questions. If there is no transnational religious movements such as HTI that threaten the state, then what or who exactly should be considered as threats to state? Therefore, it is important that this research should be continued to answer this question since it is unlikely that the state is free from the threat, isn’t it?
Well, with regard to the threat to state, HTI holds the belief that today the state is in the midst of the threats of neoliberalism and neoimperialism. Neoliberalism is the belief that promotes the reduction of the state’s role in the economy, because the state is considered as a major obstacle in the economic domination by individuals / corporates to grow. Reducing the state’s role is carried out in public sectors through privatization, removing subsidies on strategic commodities, removing privileges of state-owned enterprises through various provisions of the legislation which equate the state owned-enterprises with the private-owned enterprises and so on. So, neoliberalism is actually an effort to paralyze the state- a step to corporate state (corporatocracy) when the state is whipped up by an evil alliance between the politicians and the businessmen. Political decisions, therefore, are not really made for the benefits of the people, but for the benefits of both domestic and foreign corporates.
While neoimperialism is a new way of colonization pursued by the capitalist states to keep controlling and plundering other countries. It was formerly known as the spirits of gold (the interests to control the economic resources), glory (the interests to control political power) and gospel (the interests of Christian mission). Although currently perhaps the third interest (gospel) is no longer recognized, the first and second interests (gold and glory) still runs mainly through neoliberalism.
Neoliberalism and neoimperialism certainly have very bad impacts on the people. Among others, high rates of poverty and economic inequality, moral decadence and corruption are rampant while rising crime rates are fueled by poverty and social inequality. The number of officials and legislators either in national and regional levels who become the corruption suspects prove how they justify any means to restore their political investment. The trick is to trade their authority so as to let the natural resources – supposedly for the welfare of the people – be exploited by domestic and foreign corporations.
This is the rationale why HTI calls on, “Save Indonesia with Sharia and Khilafah “. The reason is obvious that the state should be saved from those two real threats. [HM Ismail Yusanto]