Roots of Indonesian Terrorism

Oct 12th, 2006, in News, by

Indonesian terrrorism has different origins to that of its middle-eastern counterpart, says a psychologist.

Sarlito Wirawan Sarwono, chairman of the Asian Psychologists’ Association (APA) and someone described as a “terrorism expert at the University of Indonesia”, speaking to AFP, said that while terrorism in the Middle East was rooted in nationalism, in Indonesia it has traditionally been based on Islamic jihad ideology.

Another difference was that families of Indonesian terrorists were mostly ashamed of their sons’/brothers’/fathers’ acts, unlike in the Middle East where such terrorist and suicide attacks are often a source of pride.

Sarlito said a recent study showed that the doctrine of jihad was the main factor that influenced young Muslims to join militant groups and launch terrorist attacks. The study was based on interviews with death-row Bali bombers Imam Samudra, Amrozi, Ali Gufron and Ali Imron.

What is in their mind is extreme ideology and rigid faith which makes them firm and prepared to use violence in the name of religion with the promise of pretty angels in heaven if they are killed.

Sarlito described the leaders of JI and similar groups as “psychopaths”, able to manipulate people into becoming suicide bombers, even when technology allows bombings to be carried out without the need for the bomber to give up his life.

The suicide bombers are there as just a sensational thing. The fact that there is a suicide bomber gives an attack a higher profile.

Meanwhile Nasir Abas, a former regional commander of the Jamaah Islamiyah (JI) regional terror network who has since joined efforts to fight terrorism, said Indonesian terrorists specifically targeted civilians, in contrast to their Middle Eastern counterparts.

They launch their actions against civilians, unarmed people and not where there is a state of war.

Nasir said, adding that JI leaders were among the most dangerous of terrorists in the world. Nasir said he believes key JI leader Noordin M. Top, who remains on the run, continues to recruit new jihadists.

Nasir, who was arrested in 2003 in Bekasi, West Java, said JI was established in 1993 to defend Islamic lands against infidels.

We were recruited not to carry out suicide attacks but to wage jihad against countries and against any non-Muslims who invaded Muslim countries. We were taught about certain extreme Islamic teachings to enable us to possess strong faith and were trained to use violence to defend our religion.

11 Comments on “Roots of Indonesian Terrorism”

  1. Mohammed Khafi says:

    We were taught about certain extreme Islamic teachings to enable us to possess strong faith and were trained to use violence to defend our religion.

    I have said it before, but it does deserve repeating, that these teachings and the fact that they use violence against innocents, puts them outside the realm of Islamic faith, the sooner mainstream Muslims realise this and start to promote it the better for all, not just in Indonesia, but the world in general.


  2. Iqbal Ahnaf says:

    “The study was based on interviews with death-row Bali bombers Imam Samudra, Amrozi, Ali Gufron and Ali Imron.” How naive to base reserach conclusion only on the rhetorics made by those un-Islamic terrorists. never be fooled by them! needless to say, extreme ideology is a determinant, but never been an independent one.


  3. Josef says:

    in the name of religion with the promise of pretty angels in heaven if they are killed

    Think of the selfishness involved here. They care not who they kill or hurt, women and children are no matter, so long as they get to go to paradise to have sex with pretty angels.

  4. Molisan Tono says:

    promised pretty angel???

    definitely sounds that these lunatics not having their faith toward God and truth which drive their belief… it’s because of lust for pretty angel. dumb ass psychopaththetical looney…

    blinded and dumb… sex with angel? duh…

    sex with the devil… maybe… heaven? g, i wonder if they gonna enter that gate.

  5. Hassan says:

    actually it is better translated as “bidadari” than “malaikat”.

    but I think they will have a lot to answer to God after their deaths. only God will decide where they will end up.

  6. Molisan Tono says:

    i agree with u Hassan, that only God can decide where will they end up after death… but again… sex with bidadari?… hahaha… what a twisted sex maniac. i wonder what actual drive their belief… is that what Islam teach about jihad? gee… no wonder many FPI looney like to show off on TV crying out Jihad this and Jihad that… specially against playboy… now i know what drive their faith… HAVING SEX….


  7. O. Bule says:

    Zealotry is bad. That Indonesian Islam has come to this is tragic.

    O. Bule

  8. Hassan says:

    Molisan Tono: hahaha, it’s not necessarily like what you said my friend. those people actually did it for God, but they forgot to check whether God would like it if they did those things. they are misguided or were falsely led to believe that it was for a good cause.

  9. Indian says:

    Extreme violent nationalism is the disease here, eradicate this out first. Give people greater say in how their lands are run, greater democracy, free speech, greater representation of ethnic minorities, poverty to be addressed, corruption to be tackled, local culture to be respected (cultural contamination or introducing foreign or western values into traditional Indonesian society at a rapid phase, causes a reaction as well) , Swift and efficient Justice systems all can go a long way in bringing confidence to young people.

    Above all, freedom is important. Freedom to decide one’s destiny, ones life , culture without pressure or dominance is important. If you can’t accept differences then fine, but RESPECT differences.

    Nationalist and ethno-centric megalomaniacs have caused destruction wherever they have ruled and promoted their ideologies, imposing it on others, and on other ethnic groups as well. This leads to conflict, and it puts in all forms of colorful batik shirts.

  10. dragonwall says:

    The Root of Indonesian Terrorism is being poor….

    When you are poor you tend to be attracted by “rayuan”.

    When you have “rayuan” greed seems to be the main culprit.

    When you have the money powere is the next objective.

    In order to achieve that objective they use whatever they could, influecne, bad indoctrination, force, buy outs.

    When you have those they began to have dream. A dream to be someone above all, above the law and take things in their own hand.

    End result is that many of their innocent comrade will be the fall guy.

    When they were be indicted and charge in court they say they are fighting for a cause and when they are sentence they wanted to die a martyr.

    But if you work on the reverse and you see the root to Indonesian Terrorism being eradicated.

  11. ET says:

    @ Indian

    Extreme violent nationalism is the disease here, eradicate this out first.

    This probably is the case in India, but certainly not in Indonesia. While stubborn and irrational nationalism and ethno-centricity exists in Indonesia – you have it already witnessed in several threads here in IM – it isn’t the prime cause for terrorism but for systematic sidelining and (mainly economical) submission of minority ethnics. However in certain cases one could speak of ‘state terrorism’ when the established powers that be feel threatened to lose their prerogatives and power base. Hence the exaggerated reactions and even violence in the face of minor misdemeanors such as foreign flag raising.

    But the real reasons for terrorism in Indonesia are the ones described by the under topic mentioned chairman of the Asian Psychologists’ Association (APA). If there might be a political motive to take in consideration then it would be the utopian idea of establishing a SE-Asian caliphate.

    Additional factors conducive to Indonesian terrorism are

    – sectarian dispute and revenge;

    – religious intolerance coupled with xenophobia, eagerly supported and maintained by clerics for fear of losing their power in the wake of globalization;

    – a certain, probably cultural, characteristic of Indonesians to have an extreme admiration for and confidence in authority figures by which they are easily manipulated;

    – the ‘claim to fame’ of retarded and frustrated individuals who find in religious struggle a means to overcome and sublimate their inferiority feelings;

    – a failing to make a distinction between the supernatural and the natural in assessing past, present and future situations;

    – the ‘blame others’ syndrome.

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