Not a few jihadists in Indonesia have disengaged themselves from value of violence and reintegrated with society. Some even voice the value of peace.
Researcher from Goucher College, US, Dr. Julie Chernov Hwang, described this issue in her book Why Terrorist Quit: The Disengagement of Indonesian Jihadists.
“Similar with social binds that is the key to radicalisation, new relations and friendship are the key to disengagement,” she said in a book discussion hosted by Faculty of Social and Political Sciences UGM on Friday (3/8).
According to the writer, disengagement occurs in members of extremist groups in Indonesia. After interviewing 55 people that are or once were affiliated with Islamic extremist groups, such as Jamaah Islamiyah, Laskar Jihad, Mujahidin KOMPAK, Tanah Runtuh, and Ring Banten, Hwang explained the psychological, rational, relational, and emotional process of the jihadist in Indonesia in disengaging themselves from value of violence and their attempts to reintegrate with society.
She opined that reintegration process of a jihadist is divided into 4 phases. These come in the form consciousness due to disappointment or disillusionment towards their leader and their act.
“Disappointment may emerge due to the tactics taken by that group, disappointed with the leader or themselves. Some admitted to be disappointed because they had seen too many people were victimised,” she said.
But, in some cases, this is not adequate to get someone out of the jihadist group due to their loyalty. This, however, sparks a moment of realisation of reflection towards a wrong conduct. Disappointment leads to rationalisation of benefit and loss impacts of the extremist movement. On the other hand, their social relations develop with those outside the jihadist groups as well as the emergence of new priorities in their life that replace their ideas of jihad.
Hwang concluded that relation became the biggest factor of influence as told by the respondents who said that their relations with family or new people contribute much to changing their thoughts.
“Beside friendship relation, family is also very important to help those that want to detach themselves from the jihadist group and help them build a new life,” she said.
In Hwang’s opinion, the best way to encourage a jihadist to reintegrate with society is by helping them build their relations back with their family and give training to equip them with necessary skills for their new life.