Indonesia proposes religious, cultural approaches to fight terrorism

"For the de-radicalization program, for instance, Indonesian authorities involve communities and families, including the kin of former terror convicts as well as community organizations," Jokowi noted.
Riyadh (ANTARA News) - Indonesia suggests adopting religious and cultural approaches, as history has proven that weapons and military forces are inadequate to cope with terrorism, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) stated during the Arab Islamic American Summit, here, Sunday.

Indonesia believes in the importance of balancing hard and soft power approaches that can be applied through religion and culture.

According to Jokowi, the two approaches will help to change the erroneous thought process for the better.

"For the de-radicalization program, for instance, Indonesian authorities involve communities and families, including the kin of former terror convicts as well as community organizations," he noted.

In a bid to counter radicalization, the authorities are also inviting young citizens who have several followers on social media to spread the message of peace.

"We also involve two largest Islamic organizations in our country -- Muhammadiyah and Nahdlatul Ulama -- that continue to promote a peaceful and tolerant Islam," Jokowi noted.

The messages of peace must be promoted instead of those of violence, since every violent act will lead to other similar deeds.

President Jokowi believes that the summit holds significance in terms of spreading the message of partnership between Islamic countries and the US as well as eliminating the perception that the US views Islam as an enemy.

More importantly, the summit must be able to increase cooperation in combating terrorism and at the same time spread the message of peace across the world.

Radicalism and terrorism have been spreading everywhere, including in Indonesia, where terrorist bombings occurred twice in Bali in 2002 and 2005 as well as in Jakarta, last year.

"The world is angry and grieving to see the victims of terrorist attacks in various parts of the world, such as France, Belgium, the US, Australia, and other countries," Jokowi remarked.

The world should also be highly concerned of the rise in more casualties due to the conflict and terrorist acts in some countries, such as Iraq, Yemen, Syria, and Libya.

With Muslims not only being the most-affected victims, terrorism and radicalism are also causing millions of people to flee their countries in search of a better life, and millions of young people are losing hopes of a better future.

"This condition makes young people frustrated and angry. Such emotions can later emerge as new seeds of extremism and radicalism," the president said.

At the conclusion of his speech, President Jokowi conveyed his ideas on the counterterrorism strategy.

Firstly, all Muslims in the world must unite to enhance Islamic brotherhood, considering it is the key to successfully combating terrorism.

Secondly, cooperation on combating terrorism and radicalism must be increased, including through the exchange of intelligence information, strategies to handle foreign terrorist fighters, and capacity building programs.

"All sources of funding and its flows must be stopped. We all know how much funding goes to the grassroots in several countries in the context of spreading extremist and radical ideologies," President Jokowi emphasized.

Thirdly, efforts to tackle the root cause of the problem must be prioritized by ending inequality and injustice and strengthening economic empowerment.

"Lastly, I hope that each of us has the courage to be part of the solution instead of being part of the problem in the efforts to counter terrorism. Each of us must be part of the global peace-making efforts," President Jokowi noted.(*)

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