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Society Rejects the Spread of Radicalism

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By: Veritonaldi

Indonesian society has long demonstrated a firm stance in rejecting the spread of radical ideology. Loud voices from various societal groups, including religious leaders, academics, activists, and the general public, were heard across the country. They underlined the importance of maintaining diversity as the foundation of national unity and rejecting all forms of extremism that could damage social balance.

Education plays an important role in building a tolerant and intelligent society in facing the threat of radicalism. Through education, the values ​​of pluralism, tolerance and justice can be instilled in the souls of the younger generation. Educational programs that promote a deep understanding of religion, history, and local culture help reduce the lack of understanding that radical groups often exploit to recruit followers.

Apart from that, advances in information technology have brought many changes to everyday life, including in the way we interact with cyberspace. However, amidst the easy access to information offered by the internet, there is a threat that needs to be watched out for, namely the spread of radicalism content. In facing this challenge, the Indonesian people have shown a firm stance to reject the spread of radicalism, supported by the government’s continuous appeals and efforts.

BNPT’s Director of Prevention, Irfan Idris, emphasized that radicalism content must not be allowed to penetrate and damage people’s minds, especially the younger generation who are vulnerable to being influenced. In an effort to combat the spread of radicalism content, BNPT is committed to synergizing with all parties, including society, in voicing national values ​​and maintaining national unity and unity.

Data released by the Ministry of Communication and Information (Kemenkominfo) revealed that during the period July 2023 to March 2024, there was 5,731 content related to radicalism, extremism and terrorism in cyberspace that had been deleted or had access cut off. Minister of Communication and Information, Budi Arie Setiadi, said that apart from monitoring and handling content containing elements of radicalism, extremism and terrorism on various digital platforms. Social media is also the platform most widely used to spread content containing elements of extremism, radicalism and terrorism.

In order to suppress the spread of content related to radicalism in the digital space, Budi Arie said the government is taking several preventive steps. The preventative steps in question are increasing people’s digital literacy and encouraging people to fact check and report harmful content through the aduankonten.id channel. The Ministry of Communication and Information is also following up on reports from other ministries and institutions such as the National Police, the National Counter-Terrorism Agency and the TNI regarding the spread of content related to radicalism, terrorism and extremism.

Preventive actions such as removing dangerous content are an important first step, but the active role of society is also very necessary in suppressing the spread of radicalism in cyberspace. Education about the importance of digital literacy and criticism of the information received needs to be improved, both in the school environment and the general public.

Religions in Indonesia are often targets for radical movements. However, religious leaders have proven themselves to be peacekeepers and unifiers. They emphasize universal teachings of compassion, peace and harmony between religious communities. Through sermons, lectures, and social programs, religious leaders guide their followers to reject radical narratives and choose the path of dialogue and tolerance.

In facing this challenge, not only the government and security institutions play a role, but also the mass media and the general public. Recently, a call to reject the glorification of radicalism came from a terrorism observer, Hamli. He highlighted the important role of mass media in spreading correct information and not exaggerating radical ideology.

According to Hamli, the mass media has a big influence in spreading radical ideas about terrorism to the public. Therefore, it is important for the mass media to focus on reporting on these issues, not glorifying or giving an inappropriate platform to extreme ideologies. By providing clear and non-sensational information, the public can better understand existing threats and take appropriate steps to prevent the spread of radicalism.

Apart from the role of mass media, Hamli also highlighted the importance of the role of society in preventing the spread of radical ideas. One of the ways he mentioned was not to shun individuals who are contaminated with radical ideas, but rather to embrace them and invite discussion. He emphasized that social isolation will only make the situation worse, while good dialogue can open up opportunities to understand and suppress radical ideology.

In the context of preventing terrorism, the active participation of the mass media and the public is very important. Mass media can play a key role in disseminating accurate information and building awareness about the dangers of radicalism, while society needs to be involved in monitoring the surrounding environment and providing social support to affected individuals.

Indonesian society firmly rejects the spread of radicalism by prioritizing the values ​​of tolerance, pluralism and justice. Through education, active involvement in building social awareness, and cooperation between institutions, they build a strong defensive fence against dangerous ideological threats. Diversity, as a major strength, is valued and celebrated as the foundation of national unity and harmony. With these steps, the Indonesian people affirm their commitment to building a country that is peaceful, inclusive and just for all its citizens.

*The author is a contributor to the Indonesian Strategic Information Study Institute

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