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Indonesia to disband Islamic group seeking global caliphate

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Indonesia is taking steps to disband the local chapter of an international Islamic group that seeks to unite Muslim countries under a caliphate.

Top security minister Wiranto said Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia’s activities were not in line with the state religious ideology, which is known as Pancasila, and were “causing friction in society.”

“After a careful consideration, the government deems it necessary to take legal action to disband Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia throughout Indonesia,” said Wiranto, who goes by one name.

Hizbut Tahrir, which says that it uses non-violent means to achieve its goal for a caliphate, is active in Australia and Britain, but is banned in several Middle Eastern and Central Asian countries.

A Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia spokesman could not be reached for comment.

Leaders of Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia were among the proponents of massive rallies seeking the prosecution of Jakarta’s Christian governor, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, for remarks about the Koran that some Muslims deem blasphemous.

Purnama, a key ally of President Joko Widodo and the first Christian to lead the capital in 50 years, went on trial on charges of blasphemy while seeking re-election in last month’s gubernatorial election.

He lost to a Muslim rival, Anies Baswedan.

Judges are scheduled to deliver a verdict in the blasphemy case on Tuesday.

Prosecutors have sought a one-year suspended sentence.

Indonesia is the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country, but Christians make up about 10 per cent of the country’s 250 million people.

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