Jambi (ANTARA) - Senior high school students in Jambi Province were prevented from being indoctrinated by radical ideologists by fortifying their spirit and vision of nationalism through a short film festival and movie discussion forum. "Through this short film festival, we hope that the students would be saved from being affected by the proliferated ideologies of terrorism and radicalism," Chairman of the Coordinating Forum for Terrorism Prevention (FKPT) Muhammad Syukri stated here on Friday.

The short film festival will showcase 16 videos putting the spotlight on the themes of anti-radicalism and terrorism. The videos are the works of local students to be later selected to contest at the national level, he revealed.

Initiated by the National Counter-Terrorism Agency (BNPT) and FKPT, this short film festival was officially opened by Jambi Mayor Syarif Fasha at a hotel in Jambi.

He opined that terrorism is akin to addictive drugs circulated covertly among members of the public. Hence, despite a stiff and persistent fight being put up, it is not easy to eliminate, rather a resurgence had been witnessed.

To counter such threats of terrorism and drugs, all community members, comprising millennials, must stay resilient, Fasha remarked, adding that youngsters are particularly vulnerable to being influenced by radical ideologies.

The central government is cognizant of the real threats of proliferation of radicalism and terrorism on young Indonesians.

Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Wiranto has cautioned that Indonesian youngsters are more susceptible to the spread of radical ideology since most of them have access to the Internet.

Speaking at the swearing-in ceremony of the Southeast Asian Cyber's Peace Ambassadors in Jakarta last April, Wiranto affirmed that the government is well-aware of the threats.

"We know that our youngsters can be affected by the spread of radicalism. Many of them are influenced by the teachings of radicalism which, eventually, end up as acts of terrorism," he stated.

However, he did not possess the precise data on the number of Indonesian youngsters affected by radical ideology as compared to those of the older generation.

Rapid developments in digital technology and the internet have enabled radical groups to build opinions and recruit people, he stated, adding that Indonesia has some 132 million internet users, 106 million social media users, and 371 million smartphones.

In fact, youngsters communicate and rely largely on information disseminated through internet-based channels, and they are perceived as easy targets.

To prevent the youth from being influenced by radical content freely available on the internet, the younger generation should be empowered with the capability of critical thinking and digital literacy, Wiranto stated.

This can help protect Indonesian youngsters from being influenced by such destructive ideologies that carry out acts of violence and terror, he stated.

Terrorist groups have targeted Indonesia since 2000. However, it is not the only country in the world facing such threats.

On this year's Easter Sunday, coordinated bombings rocked through Sri Lanka’s churches and hotels, claiming over 300 lives, including those of several foreign nationals.
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Translator: Muhammad H, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Suharto
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