YOGYAKARTA - Radicalism of young Muslims in Indonesia and the West at present is often associated with acts of violence, even terrorism. This is observed in the increasing acts of violence and terrorism done by young Muslims in Indonesia, particulary after the New Order.
In the last two years, at least 37 youngsters have been identified or associated with terror groups or network in the country. Although in concept, radicalism is not identical with terrorism or violence, but terrorism and vigilantism can be seen as a variant of radicalism phenomenon.
“The young as agents have stronger tendency or are more likely to be involved in social radical movement compared with, for example, adults,” said UGM sociologist, M. Najib Azca, S.Sos, MA, Ph.D, in the 57th anniversary of Faculty of Social and Political Sciences on Wednesday (5/12). Najib delivered a speech entitled The Young, the Radical: Sociological Reflection toward Radicalism Phenomenon of Young Muslims in Indonesia after the New Order.
Najib assessed that radicalism of the young can be seen as response, criticism and anti-thesis to orthodoxy and mainstream that occur in power relations that can take the form in violence or non-violence. His research showed that the rampant radical Islamic movement in the early period of New Order was ‘act of identity’ because this is an effect, or response to schismogenesis, drastic change that occurs in the context of democratic transition in Indonesia.
“Schismogenesis emerges, for example in the various socio-political groups after the New Order that increases political and ideological contestation and tension between groups,” he said.
He pointed out the communal religious war in the Moluccas and Poso, Central Sulawesi, as an example of the most dramatic schismogenesis, which has caused moral shock in a large number of Muslim youths to participate in jihad movement.
“Radical acts in jihad movement can be seen as ‘act of identity’ to end the crisis that happens between identity and self-sutobiographic at personal or societal level,” Najib explained.
Despite the strong tendency for social radical movement, it is quite disproportionate to draw a direct line between young people, poverty, unemployment and tendency to have terrorism behaviour among the young Muslims. He said that the 911 incident was perpetrated by the educated ones from middle level family.
“Here, one of the most important variables that explains the young’s involvement in radical acts and groups is ideology and social network variables,” he affirmed.
Apart from the speech, events to mark the anniversary are the Anniversary on The Air event, a collaboration between the Faculty and Aerosport Federation/FASI; and the opening of Kampung Sospol.