08 October 2014
In response to the rise in Indonesian and Malaysian fighters joining the extremist Islamic State group (IS), Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur have taken action to criminalise membership. The Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), the nation’s top Muslim clerical body, also released a statement that it was haram, or forbidden, for Muslims to participate in Islamic State group activities. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has also issued a strongly worded statement condemning IS for its actions, which ‘run counter to Islamic faith, culture and to common humanity’.
These are positive moves. But they have been inadequate, given the popularisation of Islamic State ideological beliefs via social media.
Indonesia, in response to the 2002 Bali bombing, the twin bombing of the Marriott and Ritz-Carlton in 2009, and other attacks on Indonesian soil, adjusted its counter-terrorism strategy. Indonesia has stressed a hard approach to countering the threat of terrorism, primarily through the lens of law enforcement. Over 600 terrorists have been prosecuted in the wake of the 2002 Bali bombings. Currently, the Indonesian police are responsible for counterterror operations, particularly the elite counter-terrorism unit, Detachment 88.
…This article was written by Stefanie Kam Li Yee, Associate Research Fellow and Robi Sugara, a graduate student pursuing an M.Sc in Strategic Studies, both from S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore. It was originally published on East Asia Forum and reproduced here with their kind permission.
ICPVTR / RSIS / Online
Last updated on 09/10/2014