Bukittinggi, W Sumatra (ANTARA News) - Several policemen have turned preachers at mosques in Bukittinggi, West Sumatra Province, as part of the local police`s measures to deal with potential threats of the proliferated ideology of radicalism in society.

"We directly come to enlighten our community members at mosques around the city," Bukittinggi City Police Chief Adjunct Senior Commissioner Arly Jembar Jumhana informed journalists here on Friday (Feb 1).

Several personnel of the Bukittinggi police precinct are dispatched everyday to perform the Fajr prayer, or Subh prayer, at the local mosques along with community members during which they share their knowledge of Islam, he remarked.

Their presence at the congregation aims to preach of the dangers of radicalism and terrorism as well as the importance of the state ideology of Pancasila for the life of Indonesia as one nation, he stated.

This de-radicalization program, aimed at enlightening mosque goers, some of whom may be followers of uncommon ideological and philosophical beliefs, is also supported by local community figures, ulemas, and Muslim scholars.

The Bukittinggi police officers involved in this deradicalization program also attempt to build a network, trust, and synergy with the local community members to strengthen a collective endeavor to halt the growth of radicalism, he explained.

In connection with this deradicalization program, the Bukittinggi city police also consults and exchanges information with the National Police`s anti-terrorism squad "Special Detachment 88."

As one of West Sumatra Province`s important tourist destinations, Bukittinggi should remain secure and safe for both domestic and foreign tourists.

"Do not make the visitors uncomfortable during their visit," he stated.

Last year, the Special Detachment 88 unit had apprehended a terrorist suspect in Bukittinggi and four others in the cities of Payakumbuh and Padang.

Indonesia has frequently become the target of attacks by terrorists since 2000, and the spread of radicalism and terrorism continues to threaten the country until now.

Antara noted that in May 2018, a church in the East Java city of Surabaya was attacked. Three years ago, the ISIS supporters in Indonesia had launched a suicide bombing and shooting attack in Jakarta on January 14, 2016, which led to the deaths of eight people, including three innocent civilians.

The incident has added to the list of deadly assaults carried out by terrorist cells in Indonesia. From 2000 to 2012, more than a dozen attacks took place in the capital city, including the Australian embassy bombing on September 9, 2004, and the JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotel bombings on July 17, 2009.

Reporting by Dyah Dwi Astuti, Rahmad Nasution

Reporter: Antara
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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