News / Asia

Analysts Say Links Between Radical Groups, Terrorists Are Growing in Indonesia

Indonesian Muslims display a defaced poster of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the prophet of Ahmadiyah, during a protest demanding ban of the Muslim sect in Jakarta, Indonesia, March 1, 2011
Indonesian Muslims display a defaced poster of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the prophet of Ahmadiyah, during a protest demanding ban of the Muslim sect in Jakarta, Indonesia, March 1, 2011

In Indonesia security analysts say there is a growing connection between terrorist groups and Islamic fundamentalist organizations that do not overtly advocate violence. They say this new collaboration has resulted in more attacks against Christians and members of the Ahmadiyah religious sect.

Security analyst Sidney Jones with the International Crisis Group says after Indonesian security forces dismantled a terrorist training camp in Aceh last year, remaining cells reassessed their strategy.

For years they have tried and failed to impose an Islamic state through the violent overthrow of the government. She says they have now begun to look at how effective legal Islamic groups have been in pressuring the government to pass a strong anti-pornography law and banning the Ahmadiyah sect from propagating its faith.

“We've seen the relative success of the hard-line civil society groups in pressing their agendas to the point where, in the aftermath of that Aceh training camp, a critique that emerged from within the jihadi organizations was, 'What have we achieved politically through jihadi operations?’ A big fat zero,” she said.

Since then she says there has been a growing connection between militant groups and Islamist organizations like the Islamic Defenders Front that do not overtly espouse violence.

Bonor Tigor Naipospos is with the Setara Institute, which monitors religious freedom in Indonesia. He says it is no coincidence that there has been a surge in violence against Christians and Ahmadiyah members.

Many Muslims consider the Ahmadiyah to be heretics, because although they consider themselves Muslims, they do not believe Mohammad was the last prophet.

Naipospos says radical groups have instigated the attacks to create a wider conflict.

“They hope they will get [a] reply from the Christian groups," he said. "They hope the Christian groups will reply with violence and then they will be justified in making the place of the conflict more bigger.”

While the government has been proactive in cracking down on terrorist groups, Jones says it has been slow to respond to the violence related to religious intolerance. The government has been passive, she says, because it perceives broad popular support in Indonesia, not for the violence, but for limiting other religious groups.

“I think there is a concern that there is a wider public perception that these people may be using tactics that we don't agree with, but their goals are more or less right," said Jones. "That is why we have the minister of religion making repeated statements about the need to ban Ahmadiyah and the fact that it is their own fault for getting attacked because they don't leave Islam.”

She says until the government takes strong action to prevent attacks or prosecute anyone who encourages violence, radical groups will continue to breed discontent and undermine the democratic foundations of the country.

You May Like

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid