Radicalism and terrorism movements have become a serious threat not only at the local community level but also at the global level. Almost all countries feel the threat with the existence of an international terrorism network organization that continues to hunt, attract and provoke their citizens to get involved in this global action. A massive campaign through digital media by ISIS groups, for example, can influence people in the world across ages and gender; not only oldsters and adolescents who go to war but also little kids take part in the war known as a holy war. The term “cool jihad” which is a trend among European and Asian teenagers show the pride of adolescents towards this terrorist movement which is considered heroic and holy.
The women who usually have been behind the scenes for their husbands’ actions in acts of radicalism and terrorism also took part in this action. They were trained to fight, carry suicide bombings with a mission to find heaven. The term “bride” began to be familiar with in the female jihadists group. Indeed, the facts show that many European and American women emigrated to Syria to have the new life that promised by ISIS propaganda to be more comfortable and prosperous under Islamic state authority and control. But the reality is so different, which many of them are trapped in the sex slavery to serve the jihadists.
In Indonesia, the phenomenon of radicalism and terrorism continues to grow rapidly with changing approaches and strategies to survive and exist. The new national law on terrorism number 5 of 2018, which allows the authorities to take an action of detaining and prosecuting the terrorist to the court even though there have not been acts of violence and bombing. However, it does not necessarily make the perpetrators of radicalism and terrorism reduced. On the contrary, this movement is increased and keep building new networks, move latently underground, adapt to new technologies and be selective towards the social media used for campaigns. So, this law is effective in suppressing their movements, but cannot systematically stop its spread to the new community.
Nusa Tenggara Barat province is one of the areas targeted not only for spreading ideologies of radicalism and terrorism but also for developing power through religious education institutions, which is known pesantren. The Labuhan Hajji sub-district, for example, has long been used as a place of refuge by some of the Indonesian Islamic State (NII) activist movements in the 1970s from Java, when subjected to intense pressure by Suharto’s New Order Regime government. They established Ibn Masud Islamic Boarding School located in Labuhan Hajji Village. The students who study in this pesantren not only from Lombok, some are from the outside region such as Sumbawa, Bima, Dompu, Flores and Java.
The Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) network, one of Al-Qaeda cell in Southeast Asia under the leadership of Abu Bakar Baasyir, the former leader of the Indonesia Mujahideen Council (MMI), is also indicated to have strong links with Pesantren Darusy Syifa, in Tirpas village, Tirtanadi, Labuhan Hajji, Lombok. Darusy Syifa Islamic is an Islamic boarding school run by the family of Abu Jibril. Abud Jibril is closed to Baasyir and his son involved in ISIS war in Syria. This pesantren is integrated with the local community in Tirpas village, far from the city so difficult to get monitoring by media, government and police. Another pesantren in Bima which was once inspected by Detachment 88 (special police for countering radicalism and terrorism) identified as the Pesantren Umar bin Khattab. This pesantren has been indicated as radical pesantren by Indonesian government because it has a network with a terrorist faction called Mujahidin Council of Eastern Indonesia (MMIT). Santoso in the head of MMIT and his wife is from Bima, an alumnus of Pesantren Umar bin Khattab. The regional Police also arrested 11 students who involved in the bomb blast at the boarding school in this pesantren.
The issue of radicalism in Indonesia in general and Nusa Tenggara Barat in particular, cannot be taken carelessly because its spread has been institutionalized through formal and non-formal educational institutions. The government must pay serious attention and strategic steps in overcoming these phenomena. Moreover, the spread of radicalism has penetrated cyberspace, which is more difficult to control. The large-scale campaign carried out by ISIS has attracted the interest of many young people in the world including in Indonesia to join ISIS movement in Syria. They were hypnotized by the promises of money by the ISIS group and nice life under the Islamic State government. Several pesantren in West Java have facilitated their students to fight in Syria helping ISIS battle with the official government and Islamic independent group.
The existence of the ISIS movement in Nusa Tenggara Barat province continues to be closely monitored by the local government. In 2014, the Indonesian Police detected a meeting among ISIS members on the beach of Senggigi, Lombok’s international tourism zone. The government takes precautions by tightening security, especially from the sea lane that is commonly used by terrorist groups. In 2017, the former national army commander Gatot Nurmantiyo stated that ISIS had spread to 16 regions in Indonesia including in Bima Nusa Tenggara Barat, Central Java and East Java.
From these phenomena, the Study Center of Islamic Culture and Society (ICS) University Mataram in collaboration with the Asmuni School of Law and Public Policy took the initiative to hold an international seminar with the theme “Countering Radicalism and Terrorism in the Digital Era: Re-shaping a Global Peace Community“. This international seminar which will be held in Lombok is very important and urgent in looking at the valuable assets including international tourism industry which is facing a serious threat by local and global terrorist movements. Sooner or later, if there is no action to prevent and monitor regarding acts of terrorism that have been targeted the tourist sites, it is the only a matter of time, as what happened in Bali.
Aims and Objectives
- Increasing the ability of the community and government in overcoming and preventing the spread of radicalism and terrorism ideology.
- Understanding the dissemination patterns of radical and terrorist ideology through digital, including social media.
- Exploring the new trend and approach transformation by jihadist groups.
- Be able to detect early radical behaviour that develops in the community.
- Formulating new policy based on various presentations of research results from both national and international scholars.
- Increasing awareness of the global and local community in building and maintaining the harmony and peaceful life of the community