Deradicalization Program in Indonesia Not Very Effective in Curbing Extremism

03/11/2021 Indonesia (International Christian Concern) – Although Indonesia has set up a deradicalization program to address the growing radicalism among Muslims, it has not been able to prevent the spread of extremism in correctional facilities.

A recent analysis by researchers from the University of Indonesia shows that one member from a terrorist network like Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) can recruit, on average, four to five people during the country-run deradicalization program.

Kazi Abedur Rahman and Abdullah Alfarisi from the International Policy Digest argue in their recent article that a more effective way to deradicalize the terrorists would be to provide proper religious education.

The recent terrorist attacks against churches in Surabaya and Lembantongoa were done by JAD and East Indonesia Mujahideen (MIT), two terrorist groups that Kazi and Abdullah say lack any direct connection with any major religious organizations in Indonesia. The perpetrators of these attacks also did not receive any formal religious education and were mostly educated in non-religious institutions.

“It is because of a lack of formal religious background that these individuals were more vulnerable and became easy prey for recruiters. Since education is a common factor behind those who are radicalized, the government in Indonesia must bridge this gap,” says the article.

The authors point out that Jakarta has focused more on fighting terrorism, instead of radical ideologies. What Joko Widodo’s government failed to realize is that countering radical ideologies is also equally important as killing a supposed terrorist.

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