West Aceh administration bolsters counter-radicalism program

The West Aceh district administration has stepped up its Muslim Village Program to safeguard its people from being influenced by the teachings of radicalism and intolerance.

The district government has implemented the program in several villages since 2018, West Aceh District Head Haji Ramli M.S. told ANTARA during a podcast interview here on Monday.

Under the program, residents in the prioritized villages, including teenagers, receive teachings on Islam and the state ideology of Pancasila in addition to civic education and the legal system.

“Primary objectives of this Muslim Village Program are to stop all ideologies that can threaten the integrity of the Unitary State of the Republic Indonesia,” he remarked.

The teaching materials are delivered by credible figures representing the government and communities, such as those from the military (TNI), police, and religious organization.

The program instructors not only share knowledge and information on civic education and the teachings of the holy Quran but also matters pertaining to health with the residents, he stated.

Children participating in this counter-radicalism program are taught about good manners in Islam and the holy Quran, so that they grow up to be good Indonesian citizens that hold in high regard both Islam and Indonesia, he stated.

ANTARA noted that young individuals potentially get radicalized after intensively adopting extremists’ ideology and preaching on the Internet.

Over the past few years, Indonesia and several other countries have been facing growing threats of self-radicalized terrorists.

Kumar Ramakrishna’s study (2014) found that the “internet-driven self-radicalization of the lone wolves is an increasing cause of concern for governments and societies everywhere.”

To tackle the threats of these self-radicalized individuals, he called on the governments and communities to forge sound collaboration and incorporate the five dimensions of “sender, message, recipient, mechanism, and context” into their counter-terrorism strategies.

Since 2000, Indonesia has become the target of terrorist attacks, and the spread of radicalism and terrorism continues to threaten the nation.

On March 28, 2021, two suicide bombers blew themselves up outside a church on Kajaolalido Road in the Baru neighborhood area of Makassar, South Sulawesi Province.

The couple attempted in vain to enter the church compound after security guards stopped them at the gate when a Palm Sunday Mass service had recently ended.

At least 20 people, including churchgoers and the church’s security guards at the gate, got injured in the blast.

The suicide bombers, who reportedly belong to a JAD network, died shortly after conducting their attack by using a pressure cooker bomb at about 10:30 a.m. local time.

 

Source: Antara News

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