Friday, August 8, 2014


IBRAHIM ISAS FOCUS – Wednesday, 06 August 2014

--- Invalidation on of citizenship of supporting ISIS
--- Democracy in Indonesia, between ISIL and elections
--- Islamic State isn’t the real threat
--- The week in review: Fearing ISIL ramifications

* * *

Invalidation of citizenship of Indonesians supporting ISIS demanded
Rabu, 6 Agustus 2014 10:46 WIB | 302 Views

Saleh P. Daulay. (
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Muhammadiyah Youth organization urged the government to declare invalid the citizenship of Indonesians supporting Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

There were 20 Indonesians, former terrorist convicts, had reportedly left for Iraq to join ISIS.
"Firm measure is necessary to prevent them from returning to Indonesia to spread their ideology," Saleh Partaonan Daulay, the general chairman of the organization said.
All official documents in their hands should be revoked to prevent them from using Indonesian passport, Saleh added. He said police have claimed knowledge of the Indonesians joining ISIS, therefore, it should be easy to take the necessary action.

The government has said ISIS is an illegal organization and its ideology is prohibited in the country. The national anti terrorist agency (BNPT) even calls ISIS a terrorist organization, an offspring of Al-Qaeda. BNPT chief Ansyaad Mbai was quoted as saying tens of terrorist suspects were recently nabbed in Bima, Poso and Bengkulu - all sworn members of ISIS.Mbai, therefore, also strongly called for the invalidation of the citizenship of Indonesians supporting ISIS.

Meanwhile, chairman of the central board of Nahdlatul Ulama, the countrys largest non political Islamic organization, Slamet Effendy Yusuf said the Islamic state is not a new ideology in Indonesia.Slamet blamed the administration of the New Order regime under President Suharto for the resurgence of the ideology of Islamic state in the country.
"It was the consequence of political strategy at that time," he said here on Wednesday.
There are still many people harboring the idea of establishing Islamic state in Indonesia, he said.
He pointed to emergence of similar movement in Solo under Abu Bakar Baasyir, who was later convicted as terrorist leader.

Therefore, the government is right with its decision to outlaw ISIS, he said.
"NKRI (the Unitary State of Indonesia) adopts the Pancasila ideology and ISIS claimed to have an Islamic ideology but not Islamic in its actions," he said.
Democracy – Indonesia, between ISIL & election
Bonni Rambatan, Jakarta | Opinion | Wed, August 06 2014,
The recent presidential election in Indonesia was nothing short of a victory for democracy.
Nowhere before have we seen such an engaged electorate, with such a large number of voters, very passionate (if not always the best mannered) social media interactions and increased transparency through various digital means.

What’s more laudable, the numbers taking to the streets in protest at the election result have been paltry compared to what predictions and rumors of possible riots might have led us to believe.
In light of this, presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto’s Facebook video call to “fight until the last drop of blood” for his 8 million-strong followers seems downright tragicomic in hindsight, with well-known commentators calling him delusional and accusing him of trying to hold the country hostage by whatever means.

On the other hand, the support for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Indonesia that has been gaining traction as of late has been nothing but a crisis for democracy, a display of disenfranchised masses attacking its core values and calling for alternative extremes.
Even outside of the ISIL supporters, renowned Islamic commentators have quoted how democracy has been “excessive”, how wars and other violent movements are a product of too much freedom of opinion.

The numbers taking to the streets in support of ISIL in cities like Jakarta, Surakarta, Malang and Bima has exceeded anyone’s expectations. In light of this, the call by Indonesia’s ISIL supporters to rally followers in support of an Islamic State, with tales of ISIL violence spread around as the “success stories” of some kind of holy war, becomes a very real discomfort.
What do we make of these two events? What is the state of democracy in a country in which these two events coincide almost perfectly? It is all too easy to blame democracy and the so-called “too much openness” for the spread of radical ideas through Islamic youth, as many conservative intellectuals are wont to do: You choose democracy, you are bound to attract anti-democratic views within it. But is that really true?

We must be very careful to note that violence, in and of itself, does not come from any kind of freedom of speech. Spoiled children are not a product of too much love — they are products of too much of thNo matter how much “national development” gets preached, the feeling that you are being ignored and your views do not matter in the larger scheme of things will inevitably lead to frustrations — often destructively This is where all the talk of “too much democracy” is fundamentally misleading. What we have instead is too little democracy — people voting, yet at the same time feeling as if they are not making a difference. All that, if the recent presidential elections are any indication, seems to be changing.

But lingering questions nonetheless still haunt our minds: Will things really change? What with all the infamous, seemingly above-the-law crooks still pulling the strings, plundering Indonesia’s wealth and circulating it overseas, what with all the unresolved crimes of Indonesia’s past hovering right in front of our eyes, the criminals shamelessly running for political positions of the utmost importance, is there even a remote possibility of a true, actual difference in the way things are conducted?

Is there hope for those whose voice has been lost in the dark recesses of history to actually, finally be heard? Or, as many jaded fatalist “intellectuals” seem all too ready to believe, has all this election drama been just for show, and we will inevitably end up disenfranchising more and more of the Indonesian population, causing mass frustration to rot and fester into ISIL-style reactionary uprisings in more places in Indonesia?

If the political passion of the masses in recent elections is any indication, the signs are positive. Of the very many Joko “Jokowi” Widodo voters I have encountered, most, if not all, are not exactly supporters of the figure per se, but instead are disillusioned youth who have only opted for the structural openness that Jokowi brings to the table.
Most, if not all, are ready to point out the flaws of Jokowi and name names among his political supporters with obvious cases of corruption and human rights abuse worn on their sleeves — and yet they still support him, because it is only with Jokowi that they feel safe doing so.
This, personally, is what democracy is supposed to be: a readiness to criticize, at full throttle, the very people you support — because you know you won’t be silenced and killed for doing so.
This is, incidentally, where Jokowi’s famous “Salam Tiga Jari” (three-finger salute) speech seemed a little incomplete. Of course, Persatuan Indonesia (the unity of Indonesia) is a wonderful ideal, but we should not forget that our democracy, our Indonesia, is still one that breeds wave after wave of fundamentalist terrorists and their supporters.

Do not get me wrong — of course, I am all for the unity of Indonesia, and against any and all kinds of terroristic reactionary movements. But we must realize that a three-finger salute is best done with the middle finger at its core, a finger that should be pointed squarely and consistently towards the corrupt politicians still in power.
The middle-finger salute, as it was called during the presidential elections, signifying a movement of constant vigilance that the threat of corruption lies on both sides of the candidate, should not be lost in the continuous quest for unity.

Yes, it is good to put aside political differences and retreat to peaceful economic lives (“Nelayan kembali melaut” and so on), but we must also know that peaceful economic lives can only be achieved when there are no people in black raising weapons supporting lynchings under the name of Allah walking around in our neighborhood.
For such dangers to stop growing in power, we need to open our arms and lend our ears to the disempowered and show them that, yes, there is a way out besides violence.
And to do that, we must never cease our newfound political passion in the recent elections, and instead focus those passions on constant vigilance, criticism and a striving for transparency with the new government to together make our country a more pleasant place to live in.

After all, it is only when terrorism is no longer an appealing political option among the youth that we will know we are moving in the right direction.
The author is a writer, artist and critical theorist.

Editorial: IS isn’t the real threat
The Jakarta Post | Editorial | Wed, August 06 2014, 10:19 AM

Indonesia has caught up with the rest of the world in responding to the threat following the declaration of the new Islamic State (IS) last month. The government realized the danger after it became clear that the self-declared caliphate had some support in the country.

Several Indonesians have joined the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a rebel organization fighting against the two conflict-ridden states. ISIS has since become the IS, and the Indonesian volunteers have openly called on Muslims here to join them in pledging allegiance to the new state.
Maintaining vigilance is important, especially since the IS uses violence to further its cause. In parts of Iraq where it controls, it has given ultimatums to Christians to convert to Islam, be killed or leave the country. The IS has destroyed the tomb of Jonah, a prophet recognized by Jews, Christians and Muslims, inside a mosque complex.

Any decent Muslim will tell you there is nothing Islamic about this group. It is essential however that Indonesia keeps the IS threat in perspective and proportional.
The idea of a caliphate is as old as Islam itself, and like it or not, this aspiration is found among some Muslims in Indonesia. Some political parties have made it their chief platform and won votes in general elections. Although never a majority, they win enough votes to have some political representation, including in the present coalition government.
In a free and democratic Indonesia, you cannot ban an ideology, even if you wanted to. The ban on Communism and Marxism, a legacy of the Soeharto regime, is almost irrelevant today since they are widely considered spent or dead ideologies. China and Vietnam, the two largest Asian communist states, are communist in name only.

But Islam as a political ideology is alive here and many adherents believe that Indonesia should become an Islamic state, or at least governed by sharia (Islamic laws). This puts them at odds with the majority, including most Muslims, who believe that Indonesia should remain a secular Pancasila state that respects all religions and guarantees freedom of religion to all citizens.
We welcome the public denunciation of the IS by the government and the two major Islamic organizations, Nahdlatul Ulama and Muhammadiyah. We agree that the government should monitor the activities of the returning volunteers from the Syrian/Iraqi conflicts and those who have openly declared their allegiance to this so-called caliphate.
It would be wrong however for Indonesia to ban the ideology, for it runs counter to the freedoms of thought and speech guaranteed by the Constitution. Besides, any attempt to ban ideology is a futile and wasteful exercise. Any excessive response to the IS threat only indicates our lack of self confidence in Indonesia.

Fight ideology with ideology. Fight fire with fire.Education remains the best weapon to fight the IS ideology. Strong and credible law enforcement and better intelligence capabilities should be the weapons of choice in dealing with any violence the IS supporters may be planning in Indonesia.

* * *

The week in review: Fearing ISIL ramifications
The Jakarta Post | Editorial | Sun, August 03 2014

Government officials, religious leaders and the public alike have sounded the alarm about the ramifications of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), alternately called the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which strives to establish a caliphate that straddles a vast swathe of the world from Morocco and the Middle East to Indonesia.
The National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT) has confirmed that many Indonesian extremists have gone to the Middle East and joined the jihadists in Syria and Iraq. It warned that they could lose their citizenship because helping rebellion in a sovereign state is against Indonesian laws.

ISIL grabbed Indonesian public attention when its fighters overran much of Iraq and local hardline groups staged demonstrations in Jakarta in support of their Sunni brothers’ cause. In Malang, East Java, 500 members of the Ansharul Khilafah hardline group took an oath of loyalty (baiat) to the caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, on July 20, according to
The hottest news about the Indonesian jihadists joining ISIL is a video they uploaded on YouTube in which they called on Indonesian Muslims who share their ideology to go to the caliphate that was proclaimed on July 5 by al-Baghdadi, known by his supporters as Caliph Ibrahim.
BNPT chairman Ansyaad Mbai said the regional extrimist network under Abu Bakar Ba’asyir, a convict and spiritual leader of the region’s jihadist network, was one of ISIL’s supporters and financial backers.

Syafii Maarif, a respected moderate Muslim leader and former chairman of Indonesia’s second largest Islamic organization, Muhammadiyah, has condemned the call made by jihadist leader Abu Muhammad al-Indonesi in the YouTube video for locals to “join the ranks”.
“Only the crazy would heed such a call,” he said.
Clearly, Indonesian authorities cannot take legal or repressive measures against those voicing support for ISIL, which BNPT has declared a terrorist group, unless they violate Indonesian laws.
We appreciate the government’s stand on the issue. If not properly handled it can exacerbate extremism in Indonesia. Returning jihadists pose even more danger to national security if they pass their combat and bomb-making skills on to radicals at home, as had former combatants who had helped the Afghans fight the Russians in the 1980s and the Moro separatists in the Philippines today.


Bolstered by the euphoria of winning the recent tightly contested presidential election, Joko “Jokowi” Widodo seems able to endure the headache created by the pressure he faces to release the names of his future aides to the public.

Jokowi has been talking about leaving his job as Jakarta governor in the near future so that he can run a “transition office” and concentrate on planning the government he will begin leading this October. Although his 53.15 percent win, as announced by the General Elections Commission (KPU), is being challenged by his sole rival, Prabowo Subianto, before the Constitutional Court, it has already been tacitly or openly recognized, even by Jokowi’s political foes.

People are wondering how Jokowi, who demonstrated as Jakarta governor that he fiercely believes in meritocracy, will be able to honor his promise to establish a professional Cabinet that is free from interference from the political parties that backed his dramatic ascension.
From the outset he had insisted he would only accept political parties as coalition partners if no strings were attached to their offers, meaning that they would not demand Cabinet positions in exchange for their support.

This much-lauded unconditional coalition is unprecedented. So far, Cabinets have been dominated by representatives of the political parties that make up the alliances supporting the ruling parties. The Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono administration is a case in point, which proves that a grand coalition is no guarantee for an effective government, largely because his allies pursued their own political agendas.

Jokowi’s running mate Jusuf Kalla, a seasoned Golkar Party politician, has apparently sensed trouble ahead. He assured the political parties that lined up behind his ticket that they can propose names to be considered as candidates to sit in the Cabinet.
The media is rife not only with speculation about the names of personalities Jokowi may pick to make his vision and mission happen, but also of possible Cabinet reforms aimed at shrinking the current 34-ministry bureaucracy for the sake of efficiency.

Jokowi had famously promised to set up a small coalition of parties, even though he happily leaked secrets to the media about the leaders of political parties who want to break away from Prabowo’s red-white coalition of eight parties.
Parties on Jokowi’s side, the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), the NasDem Party, the Hanura Party and the National Awakening Party (PKB), secured only 37 percent of the 560 seats in the House of Representatives, casting doubt over Jokowi’s ability to run a stable government.
 Amid the speculations about whom he will pick as his Cabinet ministers, Jokowi turned to cyberspace, asking the public through his Facebook account to come up with names of their preferences to fill his Cabinet. It may be just a gimmick he created to boost his populist image, but he has received lots of positive responses for involving the people in forming his future government, something previous regimes had never done.

The tactic also reflects how hard it is for Jokowi to resist pressure from various quarters, especially from the political parties behind him and the other elements of his campaign team who are anxiously expecting payback.

— Pandaya

* * *

No comments: