World

Jokowi inks decree to ban radical groups

JAKARTA: Indonesia has issued a decree allowing it to ban groups that oppose its official state ideology, in a move seen as targeting radical Islamists in the world's most populous Muslim-majority country.

The law, signed by President Joko Widodo on Monday, comes as concerns grow about the influence of hardliners in Indonesia.

It empowers the government to disband without trial any group that challenges Pancasila, a set of founding national principles that promote pluralism and tolerance.

Security minister Wiranto, who goes by one name, said yesterday that the move was taken because some groups were "threatening the nation's existence and creating conflict in the society".

Activists said the move is aimed at disbanding Hizb ut-Tahrir Indonesia, the local branch of a radical Islamist group that seeks to unify all Muslims into a caliphate.

Mass organisations spreading ideologies such as atheism and communism are also banned under the decree.

Rights activists warned that the decree could stifle a broad range of democratic institutions, but Mr Wiranto denied that the decree aims to muffle non-governmental organisations. - AFP

terrorismreligionJoko Widodo