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Together to Prevent the Spread of Radicalism Ahead of the 2024 Election

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The National Counterterrorism Agency of the Republic of Indonesia (BNPT RI) is involving three sub-district/village level defense pillars in various provincial areas in the country in order to ensure that the 2024 Election runs safely and peacefully. Efforts to involve these three grassroots pillars are encouraged by increasing the capacity of sub-district/village officials regarding preventing the threat of radicalism and terrorism which has the potential to emerge ahead of the 2024 democratic election. As the Head of BNPT, Commissioner General of Police Rycko Amela Dahniel, often says, radicalism and terrorism are incompatible with national ideology and actually threatens the integrity of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI).

Director of Capacity Building (Binpuan) BNPT, Brigadier General Pol. Wawan Ridwan, SIK, SH, MH, said that in order to create a peaceful 2024 election without social unrest at the grassroots level, it is necessary to increase the capacity of the three pillars of defense at the sub-district/village level, namely Bhabinkamtibmas, Babinsa, and Lurah/ Village head. Wawan conveyed this when opening the training activities for Bhabinkamtibmas, Babinsa, and Village Heads/Village Heads in the context of Anticipating Potential Threats of Terrorism Crimes Ahead of the 2024 Election in Banten on 7 – 9 November 2023. 

The Director of Binpuan BNPT also added that the involvement of the three pillars of sub-district/village apparatus is important considering that their function of early detection and prevention in the village/sub-district area must be optimized. If possible, implement the three pillars as the most crucial and main defense in early detection and prevention, do it early so that detrimental actions will not occur that could disrupt or hinder the progress of the 2024 elections.

Apart from carrying out the function of early detection and prevention, the three pillars also play a role in developing a spirit of peace across understandings and religions to create villages/sub-districts that are free from intolerance, radicalism and terrorism as well as realizing the 2024 Peaceful Elections. In addition, Islamic Boarding Schools (Ponpes) are assessed has a strategic role in safeguarding peace and tolerance in Indonesia, especially ahead of the 2024 elections. Moreover, at every major five-yearly democratic event, Islamic Boarding Schools are always the favorites for political contestants to gain votes of support.

The caretaker of the Al Fath Islamic Boarding School in Bekasi City, KH Taufik Abdul Hamid, said that the number of Islamic boarding schools throughout Indonesia is relatively large, reaching 39,043 based on data from the Ministry of Religion in 2022-2023. This allows Islamic boarding schools to play a role and have a huge influence on the sustainability of efforts to prevent intolerance, radicalism and terrorism, ahead of the 2024 elections.

Kiai Taufik assessed that Islamic boarding schools have so far together with the government made efforts to prevent radicalism and terrorism which are feared to be able to destroy national unity and unity. He also supports the government’s steps to prevent the spread of radicalism and intolerance in Indonesia.

Starting from the formation of the Religious Harmony Forum (FKUB) in every city/district throughout Indonesia, to the empowerment of ex-terrorist convicts who have been deradicalized. Regarding this, the former terrorist convict who has repented can provide enlightenment to the public to voice tolerance, peace and national unity. Apart from that, literacy by former terrorist convicts can provide a direct picture to the public about the negative impacts of radicalism and terrorism, both for individual perpetrators and the nation as a whole.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of Bawaslu RI, Rahmat Bagja, hopes that religious leaders can help election organizers in reducing political tension ahead of the political contestation in the 2024 elections. For Bagja, religious leaders also have a role in providing understanding to the community, especially regarding matters that could become problems, for example about money politics, politicization of SARA, intolerance, and so on. Bagja also invited Bishops, Fathers and religious leaders to participate in making the Elections and Simultaneous Elections in 2024 full of joy and coolness. It is hoped that religious leaders will continue to work together with the KPU and Bawaslu in the processes of implementing democracy in Indonesia in the future.

Bagja also explained the evaluation records of previous elections and elections, including those related to providing inaccurate Permanent Voter Data (DPT), money politics, neutrality of ASN, TNI and Polri. Other notes, continued Bagja, were regarding the neutrality of village heads, village officials and the exercise of other people’s voting rights, campaigns in places of worship and places of education. The rise of hoaxes and the politicization of SARA has also become a concern, in addition to a number of other obstacles, such as insufficient ballot papers, unscheduled campaigns, and security and order issues.

The role of religious figures together with community leaders is very central, especially in calling on the congregation, congregation or community and society to maintain unity despite different views and political choices. Positive and active contributions from religious leaders and community leaders are needed to prevent and help resolve conflicts that have the potential to occur during the 2024 Simultaneous Elections. However, all elements of society must also participate in realizing peace in the 2024 Elections, by avoiding provocation and teachings of radicalism or intolerance that could ruin the joy of the 2024 election democratic party.

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