RSIS Book Launch Seminar by Assistant Professor Mohamed Nawab Osman, Coordinator of the Malaysia Programme, IDSS, RSIS
Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia and Political Islam: Identity, Ideology and Religio-Political Mobilisation
About the Book
The 2016 and 2017 anti-Ahok rallies have seen hardline Muslim leaders focusing their attack on Ahok, a Christian of Chinese descent and close ally of President Joko Widodo, who was sentenced to two years in May for committing blasphemy against Islam. Ahok also lost the gubernatorial race despite his excellent performance as governor of Jakarta. In the aftermath of the Ahok controversy and alarmed by the rise of hardline Islamic elements within the country, in 2017 the Indonesian authorities decided to ban Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI), a pan-Islamic, non-violent organization seeking the establishment of a caliphate. Founded in 1953 by Sheikh Taqiuddin An-Nabhani, a Muslim religious scholar in Palestine, the group today has chapters in more than 56 countries in the world. Of these, HTI is one of the largest and most influential: in 2007 HTI organized a rally attended by close to 100,000 people. While its burgeoning popularity and the alleged notoriety of its hardline views emerged as the main justifications for its ban, little is known about HTI.
A unique contribution, Mohamed Nawab Mohamed Osman’s book Hizbut Tahrir and Political Islam in Indonesia: Identity, Ideology and Religio-Political Mobilization explores the key factors that have led to HTI’s phenomenal growth and increasing religio-political influence in Indonesia. The book features a comprehensive understanding of HTI’s history, organizational structure and ideology, also providing firsthand insights into a group which was subject to scholarly research wrought with factual inaccuracies.
This panel discusses the impact of HT globally and in the Indonesian context by bringing together world-class scholars. Prof Emmanuel Karagiannis, a reputable expert on HT, examines HT within the context of the worldwide diffusion of political Islam. Prof Martin Van Bruinessen, one of the foremost expert on Islam in Indonesia, sets HT within the context of the growing influence of identity politics in Indonesia, and analyzes the ban of HTI and its potential impact on the upcoming 2019 legislative and presidential elections in the country.
About the Author
Mohamed Nawab Bin Mohamed Osman is an Assistant Professor at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, where he also serves as the Coordinator of the Malaysia Programme. He obtained his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the National University of Singapore and PhD from the Australian National University. His research interests include Malaysian and Indonesian domestic politics and foreign policy, Islamic Political Movements (PAS, PKS, Hizb ut-Tahrir and the Muslim Brotherhood), Muslims in Singapore, Political Islam in South Asia (Pakistan and India) and Counter-Radicalisation.