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Supporting the Role of Youth in Countering Radicalism to Realize Peaceful Elections

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Radicalism is one of the problems faced by many countries in the world. Radicalism, especially in a political context, is associated with extreme views and a desire for rapid social change. Radicalism is an ideology that can influence the socio-political conditions of a country. Radicalism does not contain a mere set of ideas and arguments, but rather contains an ideology that is considered reasonable to be accepted and become a general view.

Moreover, currently the Indonesian democratic party is getting closer, radicalism is increasingly emerging both on social media and mass media. The younger generation, which is the biggest factor in the 2024 elections, needs to be wary of being exposed to radicalism if it is not based on sufficient knowledge and insight.

The younger generation is in the stage of searching for identity and is very easily influenced. So the younger generation is one of the groups most vulnerable to being exposed to radicalism, intolerance and terrorism. Therefore, the involvement of the younger generation is very important to prevent the spread of radicalism.

Strong tendency and greater likelihood of involvement in radical social movements compared to, for example, adults. This is based on the transition phase in the growth age experienced by the young man.

Director of Prevention at the National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT), Brigadier General Pol R Ahmad Nurwakhid, said that youth involvement is very important and very vital. Because based on the results of the 2020 survey, as many as 12.2% of Indonesian people who fall into the potential radicalism index category are dominated by the younger generation. Therefore, it is very important for the role of these young people to be involved in counter-radicalization, be it counter-ideology, counter-propaganda. as well as counter narratives, especially in cyberspace.

The spread of intolerance and radicalism is mostly dominated by cyberspace. So many are targeting the younger generation, the majority of whom use gadgets or use the facilities of the world of social media. Ahmad said that in carrying out their mission to recruit the younger generation, this radical group often manipulates, distorts and politicizes religion.

BNPT noted advances in digital technology and the widespread use of social media, namely as a medium for radical groups to attract the younger generation for their own interests. Therefore, it is very important for young people to be involved in counter-radicalization, be it counter-ideology, counter-propaganda or counter-narrative, especially in cyberspace. This is because the spread of intolerance and radicalism is mostly dominated by cyberspace.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Mayor of Depok, Imam Budi Hartanto, revealed that the Depok City Government through the National and Political Unity Agency (Kesbangpol) will continue to create various activities for young people to avoid the spread of intolerance, radicalism and terrorism. Budi emphasized that he would carry out activities at Kesbangpol and various things ranging from leadership training and also about unity and integrity.

According to Budi, if you look at the last few years, the perpetrators of criminal acts of terrorism are dominated by young people. And they admitted that they were exposed to radicalism through websites. Many recitations are carried out exclusively, infiltrated by radicalism propaganda. And it is the spread via social media that we should be wary of in this era of technological progress. At this point, the active role of the younger generation is very necessary, to stem the spread of radicalism and terrorism on social media.

Young people have a high fighting spirit, are idealistic, and tend to be radical in fighting for something they believe in. This potential has been exploited to be recruited as a terrorist agent, which has been the case so far, and will continue to be like that in the future. On the other hand, the role of youth is very important to stem misleading information. If in the past young people were able to unite to create a youth oath, now young people must also be able to unite to continue fighting radicalism and intolerance. The spread of radicalism in cyberspace has the potential to influence the mindset of young people today.

Indonesia needs a young generation who is intelligent, tough, inspiring and remains tolerant. Radicalism can only be fought with the values ​​contained in Pancasila. Indonesia’s young generation must be committed to defending this nation from all forms of attacks by radicalism and terrorism. And the next generation of Indonesia must emphasize that this country has a diversity of ethnicities, religions, languages ​​and cultures that can bind Indonesia’s unity

To prevent the spread of terrorist ideology in society, civil society must be strengthened . This is done by providing guidance and awareness to the community, especially the younger generation who are often targets for recruiting terrorist members. So within themselves and in the souls of individual youth themselves, they must continue to foster the spirit of the youth oath, to fight radicalism and terrorism, and maintain unity and brotherhood, so that they can continue to live side by side in differences. In the current context, the younger generation must shed one’s blood to fight the ideology that is destroying the Republic of Indonesia.

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