This article describes the nature of Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI) in the post-Suharto era and its views on the resurrection of the global Islamic caliphate, its opposition to the notions of democracy and nation-state. In the aftermath of Suharto's fall in 1998, HTI has seized the opportunity to promise the establishment of a fair society under a global Islamic caliphate. The rapid rise of HTI has, more so than most other Islamist groups, been accentuated by the growing public dissatisfaction with the post-Suharto or reformasi period. There is an increasing perception in larger society that political, economic, and law reforms introduced in the reformasi era has had no significant impact to improve people's daily lives. This deteriorating condition under post-Suharto regimes has successfully justified the HTI's claims that Indonesia needs a radical and comprehensive system, or what HTI coined as al-khalifah al-Islamiyyah (Islamic caliphate). Looking at HTI's grand narrative of the global Islamic caliphate and its refutation of the ideas of democracy and nation-state, it is clear that HTI has taken a number of negative steps in the direction of democratic consolidation in Indonesia.
There has been much scholarly debate on the causes and effects of Islamist mobilizations. As some authors involved in this debate have identified rising Islamist attitudes among Muslims as a main cause of Islamist mobilizations, our study advances detailed research of opinion survey data as the best methodology to verify or falsify this assertion. Discussing the case of Indonesia, we use original survey data sets to show that prior to the 2016 Islamist mobilization there, Islamist attitudes were in fact moderating. This means that hardening Islamist views in the Muslim population could not have caused the mobilization. Importantly, however, we can demonstrate that Islamist political attitudes increased after the mobilization, and they did so consistently around the themes propagated by its organizers. This supports theories of religio-political entrepreneurs being the main drivers of Islamist mobilizations. Grievances and religious beliefs, on the other hand, are necessary yet insufficient conditions for such actions.