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Ahead of Christmas, Increase Public Awareness Against Radicalism

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As Christmas approaches, an atmosphere of joy should pervade every individual’s heart. However, in the midst of this happiness, we cannot ignore the threats that may arise, namely radicalism and terrorism. Of course, this builds our collective awareness so that we begin to understand in depth the negative impacts caused by these two phenomena. So that we can maintain security and peace both before and during the Christmas celebrations until the upcoming New Year 2024.

If defined, radicalism is a view or action that demands drastic changes in society or government. A person can be radical in various fields, such as politics, religion, or ideology. However, it should be noted that not all forms of radicalism are negative. Some radical social movements may aim to achieve positive change in society.

Unfortunately, radicalism can also be a gateway to terrorism. When radical views are met with a desire to spread beliefs through violent means, this can lead to acts of terrorism. Therefore, it is important for society to understand the difference between legitimate radicalism and that which has the potential to endanger security.

It is important to build cooperation between the community and the government in an effort to prevent radicalism and terrorism. Prevention programs that involve the active participation of the community, religious leaders, and local leaders can strengthen social ties and reduce the potential for recruitment by radical groups.

Director of Prevention at the National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT), Irfan Idris, said that action must be taken as a preventive measure and early detection of acts of terror that might disrupt the celebration of Christmas 2023 and New Year 2024.

He added that the steps that must be taken, of course, are to build interactive and productive communication with all  relevant stakeholders  . We also look after each other and are alert to any outbreaks of action or sleeping terror cells that tend to take advantage of conflicts occurring in other countries.

Christmas and New Year celebrations are an event of joy for Indonesian people. However, from year to year there are always those who color the New Year’s momentum with negative propaganda.

For this reason, said Irfan, society needs to have early vigilance so that the togetherness of the nation’s children is not disturbed by anyone, anytime and anywhere. According to him, the world needs to learn from various humanitarian tragedies in the Middle East, especially between Palestine and Israel, as well as acts of terror carried out by terrorist groups.

Therefore, the togetherness that has existed in Indonesia through dialogue between community groups and other mitigation processes needs to be maintained properly. To anticipate these things, added Irfan, the construction of thinking and communication patterns at the grass roots level should be able to raise topics of discussion that are able to bond each other together.

It is also necessary to increase the implementation of inclusiveness, both in the formal sector such as ministries and institutions and in the social circles of young people who in fact will determine the future of the nation.

Education plays a key role in preventing radicalism. A curriculum that supports cross-cultural understanding, interfaith dialogue, and tolerance can form a generation that is not only academically intelligent but also open to differences. Building awareness from an early age can protect society from potentially detrimental radical influences.

Strengthening the four basic national and state consensuses, namely Pancasila, Bhinneka Tunggal Ika, NKRI, and the 1945 Constitution, is vital in fostering national insight and love for the nation’s children.

This has been carried out by Keerom Regency regional government officials and Keerom Police officials in the Pancasila Ideology Development activity which was attended by representatives of General High School (SMU) students in Keerom Regency, Papua Province.

Keerom Police Chief AKBP Christian Aer, SH, SIK, through the Head of Keerom Police Intelligence and Security, Inspector Samuel Yunus, explained that in this activity he represented the Keerom Police Chief to be one of the resource persons in this activity. Pancasila Ideology Development Activities for the Young Generation with the theme of preventing the spread of radicalism in Keerom Regency.

The Head of Intelligence and Security continued that, in this activity, Pancasila as a State ideology is a fixed price, but as an open ideology, we must continue to maintain Pancasila in order to respond to the dynamics of changes that are occurring.

According to him, the wrong understandings that are being targeted are those of the younger generation’s age, so we need to be vigilant together so that moments like this (national dialogue) are very important.

As Christmas approaches, it is important for us not only to celebrate happiness, but also to maintain security and peace. Understanding radicalism and terrorism is the first step to involving society in prevention efforts. With education, awareness and cooperation between communities, we can fight this threat together, maintaining peace and happiness in our Christmas celebrations.

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