Talking Indonesia: banning extremist groups

In May, the Indonesian government announced it would ban Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI), the local branch of an Islamist organisation that seeks to replace democratic governments with an Islamic caliphate through non-violent means. Indonesia is not the first democracy to consider a ban of Hizb ut-Tahrir – the organisation has been banned from public activities in Germany. Great Britain and Australia, among others, have considered proscribing the organisation without ultimately doing so.


Banning an extremist organisation is a rare step for the Indonesian government, however, which has generally resisted such calls, even for violent groups. What has spurred the government to attempt to ban HTI, what would be the likely impact of such a ban, and what are the challenges for the government in regulating extremist speech and ideology?


In this week’s Talking Indonesia podcast, Dr Dave McRae explores these issues with Sidney Jones, director of the Institute for the Policy Analysis of Conflict (IPAC), a world-leading expert on extremism in Indonesia.


In 2017, the Talking Indonesia podcast is co-hosted by Dr Dave McRae from the University of Melbourne’s Asia Institute, Dr Jemma Purdey from Monash University, Dr Charlotte Setijadi from the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore and Dr Dirk Tomsa from La Trobe University.


Look out for a new Talking Indonesia podcast every fortnight. Catch up on previous episodes here, subscribe via iTunes or listen via your favourite podcasting app.


Photo by Adeng Bustomi for Antara.


Dave McRae is a Senior Lecturer at the Asia Institute in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Melbourne. He is also an Associate at the Centre for Indonesian Law, Islam and Society.