Friday, July 14, 2017


By Lily Hikam*)

We've reached a new level of ridiculousness on the debate regarding HTI's continued existence in Indonesia. I never thought these words would ever be uttered, let alone by someone at Dr. Din Syamsudin's standing. Likening HTI's vision to establish a caliphate to the existence of the Vatican is a BAD analogy and incorrect on so many levels.

To quote the man himself, "khilafah gagasan HTI juga bercita-cita untuk memiliki pemimpin tertinggi umat Islam layaknya Paus. Pemimpin ini yang nantinya menjadi pemimpin universal umat Islam sedunia. " Except Islam wasn't meant to be a religion that answers to one Supreme Pontiff like Catholicism, was it? The uniqueness of Islam is in its flexibility to accommodate local culture and beliefs and create a syncretism that reconcile both the religious and cultural aspect of an area. Simply put, Islam in Indonesia is different from Islam in Saudi Arabia. The basic tenets are the same, but there are many aspects that distinguish them. A "universal political leader" of Islam, therefore, defeats the whole purpose.

Has Dr. Din Syamsudin forgotten that HTI has actively been against the founding principles of our country, Pancasila? The Caliphate and Pancasila are mutually exclusive, by definition. You cannot have both in existence, it's like matter and anti-matter. If the Caliphate were to be established, the NKRI will cease to exist, period. I regret to inform Dr. Din Syamsudin but this statement is damaging his credibility as a religious scholar and an interfaith activist.

HTI does not belong in Indonesia. The Caliphate will never be established in Indonesia, and no analogy can ever make establishment of a caliphate sound less threatening than it is. The government is doing the right thing in attempting to ban this organization. For a patriot like me, the only acceptable form of Indonesia is the Republic of Indonesia, and that is not up for debate.

*) Graduate Student, Zaragoza Lab
UCI Cardiogenomics Clinical and Research Program
Department of Biological Chemistry
The University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine




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