The police are likely to take the question of banning the Islamic Defenders Front, FPI, to the parliament.
On Monday in the west Java city of Cirebon several hundred Gus Dur loyalists, members of the NU (Nahdlatul Ulama), demonstrated over the Purwakarta incident of a few days previously, and demanded that the authorities disband the Front Pembela Islam (FPI), as well as the Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia (MMI) and the Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI).
Maman Imanullah spoke at the demonstration thus:
Islam is peaceful. It's not like the way they (FPI, MMI, HTI) show it as these days.
(Wajah Islam adalah wajah yang damai. Bukan wajah yang mereka perlihatkan sekarang ini.)
In likely response to these sorts of demonstrations today a chief of police in Jakarta, Anton Bachrul Alam, said he would consult with the parliament over the question of banning the FPI.
The police can't just ban an organisation, there has to be a legal basis for it. So the police will consult with the parliament.
he said, giving the example of the Communist Party of Indonesia's (PKI) banning.
The police have to act within the law, for example in the banning of the PKI there had to be an edict from the president, then the police could act.
As soon as possible we will have a meeting with parliamentarians on the question of the banning of the FPI.
There is certainly a lot of support within Indonesia for the banning of the Front but this is unlikely to be the best course. The best option is for the police to simply be able to do their jobs properly and take sterner action against the Front's antics and intimidation, much like the recent Bekasi case.
Update 31st May
In a similar vein to the above today a senior Jakarta police chief, Firman Gani, said that the existence of groups like the FPI and MMI was the result of freedom of association laws.
But it doesn't mean they can't be banned. Maybe via consultation with the parliament it could be possible.
he said at a meeting with parliamentarians. He advised against banning them:
There's freedom of association isn't there, if today we ban them tomorrow they will reform again.
Meanwhile the chairman of the Muhammadiyah Youth, Abdul Mu'ti, says that some mass organisations (ormas) are out of control and advises the government to draft new laws to contain the problem. He said that there many organisations that had sprung up recently, with unclear motives and goals, and these groups were likely to use violence or intimidation.
Mass organisations have on several occasions recently been the cause of various forms of violence.