03 February 2016
Indonesians’ response to the recent Jakarta terror attacks marks a significant shift of attitude toward terrorism and martyrdom. It is a stark contrast to seven years ago when a similar situation took place in the world’s most populous Muslim country.
There appeares to be a noticeable shift in attitude among a section of Indonesians towards the notion of martyrdom as practised by Islamist militants, most recently in the 14 January attacks in Jakarta.
Seven years ago, when three of the four convicted 2002 Bali bombers were executed by firing squad, their bodies were given a heroic burial by villagers in their respective hometowns. Some even claimed that they were the true symbols of martyrdom. There was a black banner with a worrying quote in Bahasa Indonesia that read “3 Orang Mati Syahid TUMBUH 3,000 MUJAHID” [“The death of 3 MARTYRS gives rise to 3000 MUJAHID (jihadi fighters).”]
Although sympathy for the trio notably came mostly from their villages, to a certain degree, it also reflected the confused support for the Bali bombers, probably because the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) that they were affiliated with was not portrayed as brutal and inhumane as the so-called Islamic State that came thereafter.
… Md Saiful Alam Shah Bin Sudiman is an Associate Research Fellow with the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research (ICPVTR), a constituent unit of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
ICPVTR / Online
Last updated on 04/02/2016