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Create an Atmosphere in Nataru Free from the Threat of Radicalism

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Christians and Catholics will celebrate Christmas on Monday, December 25 2023. The public must be aware of the potential threat of radicalism and terrorism ahead of the Christmas celebration, so as to create a cool and peaceful Christmas atmosphere. Society must also be more tolerant of the differences that exist in Indonesia, including differences in religion, belief and other things adhered to in the country. Because, by maintaining harmony between religious communities, as well as national unity and integrity, we can create a conducive situation free from radicalism.
Reflecting on the events at Christmas 2022, there were still many acts of radicalism that disrupted the course of the Christmas celebrations. For example, the suicide bomb that exploded at the Astanaanyar Police Station, Bandung City. This incident certainly adds to the long list of acts of radicalism and terrorism that occurred before Christmas and New Year. After investigation, the perpetrator deliberately chose the Christmas moment to spread fear against certain groups.
Apart from that, there were also arrests of suspected terrorists by Densus 88 Anti-terror Polri in the Sukoharjo area, Central Java. At that time, the National Police’s Densus 88 Anti-terror team arrested four suspected terrorists from the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) network and arrested another suspected terrorist in another area, namely in Lampung Province. A week later, three suspected terrorists were arrested again in Central Kalimantan.
It is known that acts of terrorism that take advantage of the Christmas and New Year momentum in Indonesia have been going on for a long time, with records of innovative patterns used, such as approaching individuals into groups, then approaching families, then manipulating the logic of children’s thinking, and migrating from traditional to modern with covering technology as a means of carrying out actions to spread radical understanding
Furthermore, there are communication patterns and movements of radicals which to date have not experienced any change. All of their patterns of communication and actions are still strongly organized within terrorist cells and are still widely spread in Indonesia. In many cases that are revealed, acts of terrorism are always carried out in groups and they will continue to carry out their actions in a linear manner with a very high level of secrecy.
Responding to this, terrorism observer Al Chaidar said that the terrorist network deliberately carried out attacks near certain religious celebrations, including Christmas. This effort was carried out to spread terror, thereby potentially reducing the Government’s credibility in the eyes of the public in maintaining security in Indonesia.
Seeing that these attacks are an annual pattern, the National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT) is anticipating and mitigating the possibility of similar acts of radicalism occurring in 2023. As a step to prevent radicalism and terrorism, the Head of the National Counter-Terrorism Agency (BNPT), Komjen Pol. Prof.Dr. H. Mohammed Rycko Amelza Dahniel said that people should not be influenced by propaganda belonging to radical groups in print media and social media ahead of the Christmas 2023 and New Year 2024 celebrations.
In addition, Comm. General Pol. Rycko Amelza also emphasized that his party is working together with all levels of society to take a soft approach by transforming national insight, revitalizing Pancasila values, moderation in religion, preserving the nation’s cultural roots, and transforming welfare development.
Observing these conditions, the Government, through the security forces, needs to increase security measures in crowded places and places of worship in order to create a sense of security for the entire community. The country’s anticipation in early detection of terrorist threats must also be strengthened. This is due to the existence of a new pattern of terror perpetrators involving the family because it is considered the most effective. Acts of terrorism always look for the right momentum in their efforts to send a radical message to the country about their existence, as well as arouse feelings of fear in society.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Religious Affairs of the Nadhlatul Ulama (PBNU), KH. Ahmad Fahrur Rozi, who is usually called Gus Fahrur Rozi, believes that the security conditions ahead of Christmas 2023 are quite safe from acts of radicalism. According to him, society is now starting to realize the dangers of radicalism. He believes that tolerance between religious communities is very important in maintaining national harmony, and that Indonesian people practice their respective religions well without disturbing other people’s beliefs.
He added that PBNU would be involved in maintaining security and order as a form of preventing acts of intolerance and radicalism ahead of Christmas and New Year. Furthermore, religious moderation must start with being fair. Every society must provide space for every difference, including different religions.
Acts of terrorism and the roots of radicalism are a shared responsibility, not just state authority but how society builds awareness of responsibility and is committed to fighting radicalism. Community participation also needs to continue to be expanded, especially religious leaders, educators, and politicians who need to fight racial issues, place terrorism as a common enemy, and practice the Pancasila ideology.

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