The government has to put more effort into fighting growing intolerance toward minorities in Indonesia and its potential to develop into terror attacks, an analyst has said.
Political analyst Muhammad AS Hikam said creeping fundamentalism in Indonesia was the main issue before addressing terrorism.
“Radicalism threatens national security. It is a clear and present danger, which comes from radical ideologies. Radicalism is the root of terrorism. Poverty and social discrepancy support radicalism to develop further into terror attacks. Poverty and social discrepancy are not the real cause of terrorism,” Hikam said.
The analyst was speaking during the launch of his book titled “Deradikalisasi”, held by the International NGO Forum on Indonesian Development (INFID) on Thursday.
Hikam said deradicalization had to be a national movement, in which the government had to focus its counter-terrorism policies on soft power approaches, not only hard power approaches.
While fighting against terrorist attacks, he further said, the government was still allowing extreme ideologies to continue to exist. “We have to fight the [extreme] ideologies first. Other factors are only part of the problem that will disappear once the ideologies can be fully tackled.”
A member of the Presidential Chief of Staff office, Binny Bintarto Buchori, said there was now a challenge for President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to compose a counter-terrorism roadmap given many existing ineffective counterterrorism programs. Many formerly convicted terrorists commit terror acts again.
“The government is striving to develop new deradicalization programs through the Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Ministry and the National Counterterrorism Agency [BNPT],” Binny said.