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The Importance of Preventing Radicalism Ahead of the Approaching 2024 Election

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By: Miftahul Ulum)*

General elections (Pemilu) are one of the pillars of democracy in which citizens have the right and responsibility to elect their leaders and influence the future direction of the country. Elections are a long-awaited moment, allowing the voice of the people to be expressed and respected. However, ahead of the 2024 election, Indonesia is faced with a serious challenge that could threaten the democratic process itself, namely radicalism.

It is important to understand that radicalism is a social and political phenomenon that appears in various countries and societies. It often appears in political and religious contexts and can take various forms, including political radicalism, religious radicalism, and even social radicalism. Radicalism can be a serious problem because it can cause chaos, violence and social instability.

One of the main warnings about radicalism ahead of the 2024 Election came from Vice President Ma’ruf Amin who stated that radical movements and terrorism had the potential to grow ahead of the 2024 Election. This statement is an important warning and highlights the importance of thorough preparation to face the threat of radicalism.

The 2024 election is expected to be a very competitive event. This can give rise to social tensions and feelings of dissatisfaction among society. This condition is exploited by radical groups to spread their ideology and propaganda. Some radical groups may try to take advantage of the election moment to advocate or push their ideology, even in illegal and dangerous ways. Therefore, the role of the government, law enforcement agencies and civil society in guarding against radicalism is very important.

As a proactive step in overcoming the threat of radicalism, the Indonesian Islamic Student Movement (PMII) in Sambas has held a seminar or discussion aimed at identifying the root of the problem and finding the right solution. Steps like this are important in increasing public awareness and gathering support in facing the threat of radicalism.

Meanwhile, radicalism in Indonesia is generally motivated by religious understanding so it is easily manipulated by various interests because it concerns sensitive matters, namely religious ideology, especially the increasingly hot political temperature ahead of the 2024 elections. Facing this condition, understanding peace between religions through a moderate attitude is very important . Cooperation with moderate religious leaders is very necessary in fighting radical narratives. Religious leaders have great influence in society and can help illustrate the values ​​of tolerance, peace, and peace within the religion. Moreover, it is estimated that this violent group will increasingly intensively spread the virus of radical terrorism to students and youth.

In fact, based on the determination of the General Election Commission (KPU) of the Republic of Indonesia regarding the National Permanent Voter List (DPT) for the 2024 Election, it is 204,807,222 people, 52 percent or at least 106,358,447 people, of whom are young voters. Consisting of voters aged 17 years 0.003 percent or around 6 thousand people. Then voters with an age range of 17 years to 30 years reached 31.23 percent or around 63.9 million people. Then followed by voters aged 31 – 40 years as much as 20.70 percent or around 42.395 million people. Meanwhile, the percentage of voters over 40 years old reached 48.07 percent or 98,448,775 people.

Therefore, BNPT invites the millennial generation and Gen Z to jointly be wary of radicalism. The younger generation plays an important role in preventing the spread of radical ideology and terrorism, so efforts to involve them in fighting radicalism are a positive step.

BNPT as an institution that plays a major role in overcoming terrorism in Indonesia, implements the Pentahelix concept or multi-party cooperation as a major strategy in this effort. In this case, teachers play a key role in developing a spirit of peace across understandings and religions in schools.

It is important to realize that being aware of radicalism is not an easy task. The threat of radicalism can emerge online  , such as on social media and in the real world, and radicalism itself can develop in various ideologies and groups. Therefore, comprehensive steps are needed to overcome this problem.

One step that must also be implemented in society is increasing public awareness or literacy. Education and public awareness campaigns are important in helping people understand the nature and dangers of radicalism. The public needs to recognize warning signs and report suspicious activity to authorities. Public awareness can also help in preventing the spread of terrorism.

Inter-institutional cooperation is also no less important in identifying and following up on radical activities. The government, law enforcement agencies and civil society organizations need to work together to monitor and respond effectively to the threat of radicalism. This involves information exchange, close cooperation, and good coordination between various parties.

In the face of the approaching 2024 elections, it is important for society to maintain the stability and security of the country to ensure that the democratic process takes place peacefully and fairly. With high awareness, strong cooperation and firm action, the threat of radicalism during the 2024 elections can be overcome.

)* The author is a UNU student

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