Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia and Political Islam: Identity, Ideology and Religio-Political Mobilization, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia and Political Islam

Identity, Ideology and Religio-Political Mobilization, 1st Edition

By Mohamed Nawab Mohamed Osman


236 pages

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pub: 2018-05-31
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This book offers a timely examination of Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI), a chapter of the transnational movement Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT), whose key aim is the revival of the caliphate.

It cautions against an overly simplistic read of a group like HTI and political Islam in Indonesia. While there is much to laud, particularly with regard to how leaders in Indonesia have attempted to counteract Islamist extremism, insofar as the trajectory of non-violent Islamism in Indonesia is concerned there are clear reasons for apprehension. Groups like the HTI have been adept at using the democratic space in Indonesia to propound their illiberal objectives, including encouraging the curtailment of Indonesian art forms deemed un-Islamic, and more importantly pushing for certain Islamic sects, such as the Ahmadiyahs, to be banned. Yet, despite its extreme posturing, HTI is

accepted as a mainstream Muslim organization. As such, the Indonesian chapter of Hizb ut-Tahrir represents a unique case: unlike other chapters, which are deemed extreme and fringe, HTI, though radical, still exists within the space provided by the Indonesian religio-political landscape.

This book offers new insights into HTI’s history, organizational structure and ideology, adding considerable new details about HTI and correcting errors in existing literature, while directing its primary focus on explaining HTI’s rapid growth in Indonesia. The central argument is that the key to understanding HTI’s growth lies in the role collective identity plays in attracting new members and retaining its existing members within the party. Factors such as institutional and non-institutional opportunities within the Indonesian political system, HTI’s resource mobilization strategies and the anti-systemic ideology of HTI serve as political, organizational and religious incentives for individuals to join the party and launch collective action. This goes on to emphasize and show that collective identity remains the most crucial factor in the party’s growth. Analysing this process of collective identity formation and its impact on recruitment and membership retention is central to this book.

This book will be of much interest to students of Southeast Asian politics, regional security, political Islam, and International Relations in general.


'This is a terrific book, likely to be widely cited as the best if not the definitive study of Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI), an Islamist organization recently banned by the Indonesian government. A main strength is the high quality of the interviews, conducted with more than 100 HTI leaders and members, whose confidence the author clearly gained. Balanced and analytical, the book is also theoretically innovative, bringing a new conceptualization of ideology to social movement theory. Not least, its substantive conclusion that HTI is non-violent is persuasive, showing why the recent ban is likely to be counter-productive.'-- Bill Liddle, The Ohio State University, USA

Nawab has captured the inner workings of a global Islamist ideological movement and how it lands in a populous nation like Indonesia. The Hizbut Tahrir is an incubator group for a variety of trends within contemporary Islam and highly relevant to our understand of the intersection of religion and politics. Fascinating details of internal conflict, rivalries and the jockeying for power emerge in this well-researched and deserving book.'-- Ebrahim Moosa, Professor of Islamic Studies, Keough School of Global Affairs, University of Notre Dame, USA

'Mohamed Nawab Mohamed Osman wrote a very original and ground-breaking book: he shows how a specific form of Islamist radicalization came to Indonesia from the West; his book illustrates the sudden shift from traditional home-grown Muslim movements, well rooted into the Indonesian culture and society, to a global phenomenon of religious radicalism that finds an appeal among a youth that has lost its connexion to the past.'-- Oliver Roy, European University Institute, Italy

Table of Contents

1: Comprehending the Phenomenon of Hizb Ut-Tahrir in Indonesia

2: The Selected Elites of a Global Islamic Party: A History of Hizb Ut-Tahrir

3: Unravelling the History of Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia

4: Capitalizing on Opportunities for the Caliphate

5: Procuring Resources for the Party

6: The Power of Ideas: The Ideology of Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia

7: Developing a Hizbi Identity

8: Conclusion

About the Author

Mohamed Nawab Mohamed Osman is Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the Malaysia Program at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, a Graduate School of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

About the Series

Asian Security Studies

Few regions of the world are fraught with as many security questions as Asia. Within this region it is possible to study great power rivalries, irredentist conflicts, nuclear and ballistic missile proliferation, secessionist movements, ethnoreligious conflicts and inter-state wars. This series publishes the best possible scholarship on the security issues affecting the region, and includes detailed empirical studies, theoretically oriented case studies and policy-relevant analyses as well as more general works.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Asia / General
HISTORY / Military / General
HISTORY / Asia / Southeast Asia
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / International Security
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / Terrorism