Winning without war in Indonesia

Testriono, Jakarta

(The writer is a researcher at the Center for the Study of Islam and Society at the State Islamic University Syarif Hidayatullah, Jakarta)

I recently met some friends through social media who were elementary or junior high students when the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States.

Most of these young people agree that such terrorism could never be warranted. For example, Qurrota Ayuni, 24, said: “Whatever the reasons behind the 9/11 attack, it cannot be justified in the name of humanity. It killed thousands of innocent people for the sake of narrow, sectarian interests.”

However, the main concern of these youth was the effect of 9/11 on their own country.

There is a better way to combat radicalism and terrorism- to empower youth, helping them achieve positive aspirations and, in the process, abandon negative and violent ones.

Unfortunately, in Indonesia the effects of 9/11 are linked to the perception that the West is at war with Islam — a perception that has indirectly contributed to an increase in the number of extremist Indonesian Muslim youth. For the upcoming 10th anniversary of 9/11, a fitting legacy is to encourage peaceful outlets for youth to engage in society.

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Categories: Indonesia

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