Indonesia, the worlds most populous Muslim-majority country, should work hard and pull together to address the threat of radicalism and extremism, and safeguard the Constitution that enshrines religious freedom and diversity.
State Defense Forum of the Republic of Indonesia (FBN-RI) Chairman H Ahya of Lebak District, Banten Province, has stated that the idea of radicalism that is currently rife in various regions can threaten the unity and integrity of the NKRI.
After being inaugurated as the chairman of FBN-RI for Lebak District for the period 2017-2022 Monday, Ahya remarked that the generation of this nation must have the responsibility to maintain and defend the integrity of the NKRI so as not to split.
The integrity of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia, according to him, is final and cannot be contested or changed again, because of the result of the struggle of all Indonesian people to realize a sovereign, just and prosperous country.
Ahya said the heroes had been willing to sacrifice their body and soul for the ideals of an independent nation in order to improve the welfare of Indonesian society.
However, the Indonesian nation today is very concerned with the emergence of radicalism that can create a threat of the unity of NKRI, rampant drug circulation, and the crime of corruption.
"All the action certainly happened because of the game of foreign parties who want to destroy the integrity of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia," he noted.
According to him, all public elements should certainly have a responsibility to maintain and preserve the NKRI, which has a diversity of religions, tribes, languages and customs.
Further, Ahya affirmed that the FBN-RI is committed to maintaining robust and dynamic national resilience for the integrity of the NKRI.
In addition, he said the FBN-RI will be ready to fight for the integrity of the NKRI by providing understanding of nationality to the generation of the nation, and keep this country from the threat of radicalism.
In his address to the Parliament on August 16, 2017 ahead of the Independence Day anniversary, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) remarked that all parties must work together not only in creating an equitable economy, but also in ideological, political, social and cultural development.
"In the field of ideology, we have to strengthen our national consensus in safeguarding Pancasila, the 1945 Constitution, the NKRI, and Bhinneka Tunggal Ika or Unity in Diversity," the president said at the time.
The head of state said that the challenges the country faces at present and will face in the future are not easy.
"We are still confronted with poverty and injustice; we are still facing global economic uncertainty, and we are also facing movements of extremism, radicalism and terrorism," the president said.
In addition to the president, Vice President Jusuf Kalla has called on Minister of Communication and Informatics Rudiantara to track and crack down on the spread of online radicalism.
"Today, the most extreme approach to spread radicalism is through technology. Hence, the minister of communication and informatics must track its spread on the internet. We seek to pursue it together," Kalla stated at the Auditorium of the State University of Padang, West Sumatra, last July.
The ministry then urged internet service providers to terminate or block access to Telegrams 11 domain name systems, which were originally accessible via personal computers, as they contained content on radicalism and extremism that led to terrorism.
Kalla conveyed the request as a response to the Declaration of Anti-Radicalism made by rectors of state and private universities in the provinces of West Sumatra, Jambi, and Riau.
According to Kalla, radicalism was deliberately spread among the young people through brainwashing that there was a shortcut to reach heaven by undertaking "jihad," engaging in a holy war. Hence, such a thought process cannot be fought with violence, but it should be overcome by raising awareness through the spread of education.
"Radicalism will not end by reading the joint declaration, but it has to be eradicated by providing good education and sound examples and sharing the right religious teachings, which is why the university plays an important role in neutralizing and channeling the thought process of our young generation in the right direction," the vice president said at the time.
Speaking in connection with the misuse of technology for the spread of radicalism that had led to terrorism, Kalla appealed to the young generation in Indonesia, especially students of the State University to study hard.
"If people get influenced without the right knowledge, their actions will spiral out of control. If they are knowledgeable, they will move in the right direction. Hence, let us continue to advance the level of education since it is also part of jihad," he stated.
To counter the threats of extremism and terrorism, Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi has said the root causes, such as the development gap, unemployment, and job inequality, among others, need to be addressed.
She affirmed that this inclusive development will bring prosperity to all, and no one will be left behind. (*)