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Students Play a Strategic Role in Countering Radicalism

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By : Rahmat Gunawan *)

Students have an important role in efforts to counter radicalism. Student involvement can suppress the spread of radicalism in Indonesia to the fullest.

The role of students today is very important. They not only go to campus to study, but also organize and support government programs. One of the main roles of students is to prevent radicalism from spreading widely in Indonesia, because radicalism can undermine the country from within.

Brigadier General (Pol) R Ahmad Nurwakhid as Director of Prevention of the National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT) said that radicalism is an ideology that animates all acts of terrorism. Radicalism always indoctrinates, clashes with religion and culture, religion and social, as well as religion and Pancasila.

Ahmad explained that radicalism is an understanding that requires changes, replacements, and penetrations of a community system to its roots. Radical terrorism comes from religious persons and foreign terminology is said to be extremism.

In this case, it is necessary to invite students as agents of change to counteract radicalism, especially in the campus environment. Student participation is very strategic in countering radicalism. This is because the position of students who are pursuing higher education is very vulnerable to being exposed to radicalism because students are in a period of searching for identity.

Religious moderation is one of the right things to be echoed on campus in an effort to ward off radicalism. With religious moderation, it will prevent extremism which will lead to radicalism and terrorism. Students can also promote religious moderation as a way to counter radicalism.

Students can observe the surrounding environment in an effort to counter radicalism. One of them is observing fellow students where if they are observant, students can prevent their friends from being dragged into the flow of radicalism, because actually the recruitment of radical ideas starts from students who look lonely.

The campus environment can also be observed by students, because it could be that the student activity unit building is misused to spread radicalism. One of the causes of this happening is that there are members of radical groups who infiltrate and spread radical ideas in the student activities. If it is proven that there is, then the student can report it so that it can be dealt with harshly by the campus.

Students can also ward off radicalism through social media. Such as through Instagram or Facebook accounts, if students see signs of radically charged content, students can immediately report so that the accounts of those spreading radical ideas are forcibly closed by the social media manager. With this action, students have prevented that there will be no more people who are polluted by radicalism in cyberspace.

Thus, the role of students is very important in countering radicalism, both on campus and in other environments such as cyberspace. As agents of change, students should not be indifferent, but try to be able to participate in eradicating radicalism, even in a small environment. Therefore, radicalism must be immediately removed and eradicated so as not to destroy the Indonesian state.

*The author is a contributor to the Mulia Institute

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