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

    Escalation of Media Crackdown in Turkey Heightens Concerns

    Critics see 'a new dark age' as arrests of journalists, closures of media outlets by Erdogan government mount

    Russia Boasts of Troop Buildup on Flank, Draws Flak

    Russian military moves counter to efforts to de-escalate tensions, State Department says

    Video Iraqis Primed to March on Mosul, Foreign Minister Says

    Iraqi FM Ibrahim al-Jaafari tells VOA the campaign will meet optimistic expectations, even though US officials remain cautious

    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.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora