Jakarta (ANTARA) - The legal regulation approach must be enhanced to prevent radical groups from making deeper inroads into society, an official from the National Counter-Terrorism Agency (BNPT) has said.

Radical groups exploit laws protecting the freedom of speech and freedom of assembly to spread their ideas despite their anti-democracy stance, director for prevention at BNPT, Brigadier General Ahmad Nurwakhid, pointed out.

"Therefore, the legal regulation approach is needed to address (radicalism) as Indonesia is a democratic country," he said during a public discussion on the threats and damages caused by terrorism at the French Embassy complex here on Wednesday.

Besides the legal regulation approach, ideological and spiritual approaches would also be quite effective in tackling radicalism and radical groups, he added.

"A person's quality in professing their religion is determined by their tolerance to diversity and differences (in the society)," the BNPT official said.

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Commenting on the recent discourse on Islamophobia among the public, Nurwakhid opined that it was prompted by radical groups seeking to replace the national ideology, Pancasila, and impose their religious ideology.

"They want to replace the national ideology, Pancasila, with their trans-national ideology, replacing our national system with their version of the religious system achieved by manipulating, distorting, and politicizing religion," he remarked.

The Islamophobia issue was created only to arouse conflict among residents by inciting racial and religious sentiments, the BNPT director said.

"If we feel that only we are right, it is, in essence, the start of a virtue and moral crisis," Nurwakhid remarked.

The official also lambasted radical groups for not respecting differences in society and abusing religious values to influence the common people into turning against their own community.

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Translator: Fitra Ashari, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Suharto
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