Radical and Militant Islam in Indonesia


Single Panel


Session 11
Thu 14:00-15:30 REC A2.14



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This panel focuses on radical and militant Islamism in Indonesia. It comprises four papers which cut across time and space, covering a range of Islamist organizations such as Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), the pro-ISIS Jamaah Ansharud Daulah (JAD), the Poso-based Mujahidin Eastern Indonesia (MIT), and militant Islamists in Bima. The key questions that tie these papers together analytically revolve around the relationship between radical Islamist ideology, Muslim protest, jihadi training camps, militant activities, and terrorism. This panel will show that the relationship between radical Islamist ideas and militant Islamist activities has been a fluid one and the relationship between behavioural and ideological change has moved along a continuum in both directions. Training does not necessarily translate into violence as it also functions as a way to build a cohesive organisation and to establish networks. Conversely, violence does not necessarily require prior training as willingness to engage and re-engage in jihad is often determined by a radical milieu, local circumstances, unaddressed grievances, and ideology. While the jihadi environment remains a predominantly male one, these same factors have also been the drivers of female engagement with extremist groups as exemplified by the women in MIT. Last but not least, political opportunity to reshape local and national politics has also been tactically embraced by radical and militant Islamists leading to interesting alliances between moderate Muslims, Islamist vigilante groups, violent Islamists, and Indonesian political personalities.