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Countering Radicalism Among Students

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By: Muhammad Zaki

Radical notions can infiltrate anywhere, not least in the academic realm, where students in uniform also do not escape the threat of exposure to radicalism ideology. This of course must be addressed and found a solution so that this understanding does not spread further.

Radicalism is a dangerous virus. According to Hasani and Naipospos (2010), radicalism is a view that wants to make fundamental changes in accordance with its interpretation of social reality or the ideology it adheres to.

When viewed from a religious point of view, the word radicalism can be interpreted as a religious understanding that refers to a very high religious foundation, so that it is not uncommon for adherents of this ideology to use violence against people who have different views/radicals to actualize the religious beliefs they hold and trust to forcibly accepted.

Sholahuddin Al-Aiyub as Chairman of the MUI for Sharia and Halal Economics, said that Islam wasathiyah was the solution to the distorted understanding of radicalism and liberalism. This was conveyed by him at the national seminar on overcoming radicalism and intolerance in Indonesia which was held by the MUI in Riau Province.

Aiyub said that religious radicalism and liberalism have distorted religious understanding. Therefore, it is necessary to take steps and efforts to return to the straight path, namely returning to Wasathiyah Islam.

He also mentioned that radicalism is a deviant understanding. It is called Deviant because understanding the religious texts only adheres to the texts in a literal way (manthuq an-nash) and ignores the texts in substance (mafhum an-nash).
Radicalism is an excessive experience of religious teachings. Often accompanied by efforts to change the existing order of religious understanding. Those who are exposed to radicalism also often consider heretical people who have different understandings with their group. This creates an intolerant religious expression.
As for religious liberalism, it is considered deviant because it believes that texts are open texts that anyone is free to interpret or interpret without regard to the systems and methodologies that have been formulated by the scholars.
They reasoned that religious teachings must be in accordance with the benefit. So that if the text is contrary to the benefit, it is the text that must be abandoned.
This understanding of radicalism is very dangerous because it can destroy the epistemological pillars of Islamic teachings, causing people’s doubts about Islamic creed and sharia and plunge them into error.
Worse, not a few teachers are exposed to radical ideas, where teachers teach about the caliphate and give students an understanding that democracy is haram. After being traced, the teacher turned out to be active in the HTI organization which has now been dissolved by the government.
Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo said there was a sequence to indicate whether teachers were exposed to radicalism or not.
The first order is activity, what routine activities are carried out, so that you cannot accuse someone of being radical just because of one action. Next is how the digital footprint is, whether there is access to sites that contain radical content or not.
It should be agreed that the role of teachers and education personnel who are directly related to the education of students who will become the successors and leaders of the nation is very necessary.
So it would be better if the teacher recruitment process is also supported by tracking the track records of each applicant, both on certain ideological issues. Both in terms of understanding and involvement with organizations that have been banned by the government, such as HTI organizations and other radical organizations.
Teachers and other educators must also support Bhineka Tunggal Ika, which means open-minded, tolerant and willing to work together with all components of the nation without exception and be loyal to the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia.
In 2018, PPIM UIN Syarif Hidayatullah Jakarta found the fact that not a few of the teachers had an intolerant attitude, both explicit and implicit, reaching 35-40 percent of teachers in Indonesia. This is of course very worrying for the continuity of the existence of the nation’s ideology.
The sad thing is, since the triumph until the fall of ISIS, there have been around 700 to 800 Indonesian citizens sympathizing with ISIS in Syria. Of these, only about 200 people have been repatriated to Indonesia.
The rest, they could not return to their homeland due to various considerations. Moreover, there was news that several Indonesian citizens there had torn their passports, which meant that he had no desire to return to his homeland.
Meanwhile, the content of radicalism on the internet is countless. Religious radicalism that is glorified can actually cause divisions among religious people with the same belief or with other religious groups.
Radical understanding in carrying out and spreading its understanding tends to use a method that is not in accordance with what has been used as a guideline for the daily life of Indonesian people.
Radicalism continues to try to feed the nation’s generation with what they understand as a way of life and a solution to the nation’s problems.
Radicalism is something that cannot be tolerated, radical understanding is clearly not in harmony with the values ​​contained in Pancasila, so we must be wary of content that has the nuances of hate speech or radical invitations such as rejecting democracy or raising the flag of the caliphate.

)* The author is a contributor to the Institute for Strategic Information Studies (LSISI)

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