The Way of Youth in Tackling Terrorism | Paradigma Bintang

The Way of Youth in Tackling Terrorism

Lately, the big threat striking universe, it`s namely radicalism and terrorism. Like fungi in the rainy season that thriving fast, radicalism and terrorism is also growing rapidly. One network died, a new network cell arises and ready to substitute the old network. Furthermore, their means has also sophisticated, started from vulgar, sadist, despicable, such as beheading and burning the hostage, until a brutal one like attacking the crowded object that perceived as the enemy`s nest, self-blasting with high explosive bomb that killing many victims. Precedent of bombing attack that hit Paris, France, November 13, 2015, terrorist attack in Plaza Mall Sarinah Jakarta, January 14, 2016, and barbaric attack in the air port of Brussel, Belgium, March 22, 2016 constituted a real confirmation that terrorism really happening and threatening whoever regardless when and where terror action will be executed. 

Formerly, story and terror network identical with the Al-Qaeda, Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), but nowadays the world has surprised by the emerging of a new terror group namely Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). ISIS which born and thrived since 2013 with wielding the rift of civil war in Syria, sectarian conflict in Iraq has successfully made a new phase of terrorism with selling and humiliating Islam, ISIS has also washed the brain of many young generations, recruited them being terror agent with sadist, cruel, barbaric minded that away from humanity values. These are the reality of terrorism.    ` 
     
Youth Tackling Terrorim
Islam has been distorted severely, Islamic tenet to spread mercy around the world distorted by ISIS being appeal to disperse animosity, hatred, and destruction. There is no little of former ISIS agent that regretted after no longer being part of ISIS. This thing due to their perception about ISIS that previously perceived as suitable with the Islamic credo diverged away 180 degrees from Islamic canons. As the example, raping, murdering, stealing, making an assault, and other brutal actions constituted usual matters that ISIS agent accustomed to do. Surely, it`s the deed that never justifiable in Islam. Interestingly, they that has affiliated with ISIS predominantly from young realm with no exemption Indonesian youth. According to data released by Indonesian Police, November 18, 2015, there are approximately 384 Indonesian citizens that has affiliated with ISIS network, and the majority of them categorized as youth. Indeed, it`s greatly warning that young generation has become prominent target to be recruited as terror agent. Even, just to remember the terrorist attack that occurred in Plaza Mall Sarinah in the beginning of the year 2016 ago, the actors are predominantly from young generation. It`s really serious problem that become our concerns and should be hunted its solution. 

a number of young generations that trapped with ISIS should be a reflection and contemplation that it necessary corrective action to save young generation from ISIS propaganda and radical views. In national scale, besides ISIS, recently, Indonesian government is also struggling against terror threat of East Indonesia Combatant group headed by Santoso. The condition was similar with ISIS, in which terror agents were recruited from young generation. In fact, young period is the time that young fragile to be influenced and infiltrated with radical or hardline ideology. So that, it needs for an approach and effective strategy in preventing radicalism and terrorism affecting the young generation.

In my opinion, there are several approaches that can be cultivated by government and many stake holders in battling against radicalism and terrorism. In this written, I will share my own experience as the youth activator of rural development in Garut regency, in playing role and making an effort against radicalism and terrorism. 

Practically, I used two approaches, both are economic approach and persuasive ideology. Concretely, I formed collective business group which members consist of unemployed youths. This collective business group that I shaped and guided specifically focused on culinary that has become icon of village in which the group members are alive. During a long time, the culinary was merely perceived as an interlude without any seriousness to make it a business field that can gain incomes. I saw this culinary has potency if it be developed correctly and seriously. It culinary namely “Pungpa“, the abbreviation of rice flour and coconut. Therefore, I united the jobless youth and encouraged them to be productive person by producing Pungpa. Furthermore, I gave them capital to be stimulus and managed, and they welcomed this idea and has successfully carried out, step by step they enjoy the profit that help them from jobless and unemployed. I implemented an economic approach because of the big proof showed us that many young generations trapped in terrorist network do to poverty and economic hardship that entwined them. Empowering jobless youth in rural area with economic activity is was being my way to counter terrorism in young circle.

Besides economic activity, in tackling terrorism I also gave ideologically persuasive approach, giving the enlightenment, apprehension, and straightening the wrong paradigm. Either formal or informal, such as through capacity building program related to four nationality pillars, or through entering the class room in formal school, I always delivered campaign “war on radicalism and terrorism”. One assumption that I tried to straighten was paradigm being terrorist perceived as a great and hero because stupidly the terrorist death conceived as Syahid or martyr that guaranteed with paradise reward. I vividly told the students and young generations in rural area that being terrorist was same with being the criminal and murderer. If terrorist dead his death was foolish and useless. Engaging in holy war currently was not about destroying, killing, and making intimidation. Nevertheless, the real holy war now was about war against stupidity, poverty, underdevelopment, and rigid paradigm. 

I have also conveyed that legacy from Indonesian founding fathers such as Five Principles (Pancasila), Unity in diversity (Bhinneka Tunggal Ika), Constitution 1945, and United Stated of Republic of Indonesia (NKRI) were the best legacy that should be learned, understood, and implemented in daily life. Hence, the space and the opportunity of radicalism, temptation to be terrorist cannot be easily infiltrated and contaminated. I have always convinced sons of nation in rural area that basic principle to be safe from terrorism was keeping mindset, paradigm, ideology always straight, behaving tolerant, and not feeling as the most correct or true man and woman. Whereas, the truth of someone is not same with the truth of the others. Therefore, mutual respect absolutely being must in order to keep life harmony within national life of multicultural Indonesia. As an agent of youth, those are that I have done in battling and tackling terrorism.
Moh. Zahirul Alim,
Activist of rural development, Alumnus of FISIP Brawijaya University

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