Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s decree on Wednesday banning organisations that do not support the state ideology of "Pancasila" (Five Principles) has sparked strong protest from both human rights and Islamist groups in Indonesia and sparked some alarm abroad. It’s the first time such a presidential decree has been issued since Indonesia’s hardline leader Suharto was forced to resign the presidency in 1998.

President Joko Widodo -- known as "Jokowi" -- issued the decree following Islamist rioting against the candidature of Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama ("Ahok") for re-election late last year. The decree, which is a unilateral decision that can be applied to any organisation, was widely seen as targeting the fundamentalist religious organisations Hizb ut-Tahrir Indonesia (Indonesian Liberation Party, HTI) and the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI).