Editorial: It’s Time We Get Real About Islamic State
The first thing to do to solve a problem is to admit that there is one. When it comes to the spread of radicalism and extremism in Indonesia, a majority of Indonesians are still in denial.
Many of them still can’t accept the fact that one or two of their very neighbors, for instance, support ideas of building an Islamic caliphate in Indonesia, or even in the Southeast Asia region.
For them, most Muslims in Indonesia are moderate, kind and will not resort to violence, while radical activities can only happen on TV.
Meanwhile, many others don’t even see radicalism or extremism as a problem. They think people going to the Middle East to defend their religion should be supported. Or that those groups that perform raids on bars, nightclubs or even churches and “sinner” groups such as the Ahmadiyah, are good organizations.
We still believe most Indonesians are moderate, but we need to question this in light of the many incidents that show otherwise.
While we believe that moderate groups are still in the majority, we should admit now that radicalism and extremism can easily turn into violent behavior or even terrorism, which is very much alive and spreading in the archipelago.
Tackling the issue of militancy and extremism needs serious and concerted efforts from all. While we applaud the Foreign Ministry’s step to try and monitor Indonesians leaving for the Middle East and the police’s continued arrest of terror suspects, this should only be emergency conduct.
First of all, it starts with the family and schools. It’s time for a national program to deliberately introduce moderation programs within the school curriculum. We can’t take our moderate nature for granted anymore simply because people say we are good Muslims.
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Source: The Jakarta Globe