All parties are obliged to counter radicalism in order to create conducive elections
Radicalism is one of the most pressing threats in global political and security dynamics. Especially ahead of the 2024 democratic party, this radical ideology raises serious concerns regarding stability, integrity and of course state security. The main challenge in radicalism is each person’s different understanding of what radicalism itself means. So, it is important for all parties, especially society, to recognize, think critically, have balance and integrity in facing complex challenges in politics.
The term is often used broadly and ambiguously, covering a wide spectrum of beliefs and actions. This can cause confusion in identifying potential threats and developing appropriate prevention strategies. Therefore, it is important for the government and civil society to have a clear and comprehensive definition of radicalism that focuses on real threats to democracy and state security.
In sensitive political situations leading up to elections, the issue of radicalism can often become a political weapon. Certain parties may try to manipulate the narrative of radicalism to gain support or gain political advantage. This can blur the distinction between truly radical groups and groups that disagree with the government or hold alternative views.
Radicalism, especially in the form of religious or ideological extremism, can threaten the principles of diversity and tolerance in society. Attempts to impose certain views or eliminate pluralism can damage social harmony and give rise to tensions between religions or between beliefs.
Through the Public Relations Coordinating Body Forum (Bakohumas), the National Counterterrorism Agency of the Republic of Indonesia (BNPT RI) disseminates information and educates government public relations in building national awareness ahead of the 2024 political year or 2024 elections starting from the smallest government or village spheres.
The Principal Secretary (Setama) of BNPT RI, Bangbang Surono, said that the socialization aimed to initiate the Siap Siaga Village in order to increase national awareness of the dangers of radical terrorism. Bangbang hopes that government public relations, which is spread from central to regional levels, can participate optimally in promoting public communication regarding the national preparedness program. Apart from that, it was also conveyed that all parties have the determination to work together to achieve the same target, namely the safety of the 2024 Election from issues that could cause divisions in society.
Continuing from the statement of the Secretary of the BNPT RI, it is not only big cities that need to be supported, but villages which are the smallest units of government certainly need to be embraced and invited to work together. Head of the Bengkulu Regional Ministry of Religion Office, Muhammad Abdu, said that he had signed the ‘Pledge to Prevent Intolerance, Radicalism and Terrorism in Bengkulu Province’ as an effort to maintain the integrity and unity of the nation. The signing is a follow-up to the Cooperation Agreement (PKS) between the National Police and the Indonesian Ministry of Religion.
According to him, this can raise enthusiasm, respect each other, respect differences within the framework of unity and oneness. Meanwhile, the Regional Secretary (Sekda) of Bengkulu Province, Isnan Fajri, said that signing the pledge was a real step in maintaining peace and harmony in society, especially those in Bengkulu. Isnan concluded that radicalism could threaten the humanitarian principles that underlie the value of life and also have an impact on the security and stability of the country, especially ahead of the 2024 elections.
Excessive reporting and handling of the issue of radicalism can exacerbate fear and create a tense atmosphere in society. Social tensions and inaccurate perceptions of the level of threat of radicalism can disrupt national stability and security. Fear of the threat of radicalism can influence voter participation, leading to low levels of participation in elections and a negative impact on the legitimacy of the democratic process.
The 2024 election in Indonesia is a crucial moment that will determine the direction and future of the country. An increase in the potential for radicalism could occur due to identity politics ahead of the 2024 General Election and Presidential Election. So, the government needs to be alert to the worst risks in this political year. The government needs to collaborate with civil society, religious institutions, education and the private sector to identify and overcome factors that encourage radicalism. Apart from that, programs that support inclusivity, education based on the values of tolerance, and economic and social empowerment need to be strengthened as an effort to prevent radicalism.
The potential for radicalism and terrorism ahead of the 2024 elections will always be there, it’s just up to us to take care of it and minimize it so that the potential doesn’t develop. Not only to society, intolerance, radicalism and terrorism are relatively capable of infiltrating the State Civil Apparatus (ASN) in various institutions. In fact, it is suspected that radicalism has penetrated many members of the TNI-Polri. Therefore, the obligation of all parties is to unite in fighting intolerance, radicalism and terrorism, especially to face the long-awaited democratic party, in order to create conducive elections for quality leaders.