Monday, October 17, 2005

Does Jamaah Islamiah (JI) Exist?

Pertanyaan "Adakah Jamaah Islamiah (JI)?" masih menggelayut di benak orang Indonesia. Kebanyakan orang tidak percaya bahwa organisasi semacam itu ada di masyarakat. Didorong rasa penasaran, saya mendapatkan pencerahan dari Asrori S. Karni, seorang jurnalis papan atas, yang menyatakan bahwa JI betul-betul wujud. Menariknya, Asrori menganalisa bahwa Bom Bali II baru-baru ini bukanlah program resmi organisasi, akan tetapi dilakukan tanpa perintah dari para petinggi. Pemboman itu sebagai bentuk "kenakalan" anak-anak muda anggota JI. Ada apa dengan JI?


In spite of abundance materials about Islamic militancy in Southeast Asia, range from Sidney Jones, to Zachary Abuza, and to Ken Conboy, a question “Does Jamaah Islamiah (JI) exist?” is still lingering thus far on the mind of Indonesians. Mostly Indonesians, I happen among them, hardly believe such organization has rooted in the society. It may well be due to the long span of Suharto’s rule which relatively success in tamping it down to certain position. Such organization and its ilk run underground. Azyumardi Azra, a moderate Islamic scholar and rector of the State Islamic University in Jakarta, argues that the speed societal change since the fall of dictator Suharto in 1998, and combination of poverty, has left many young Muslims alienated and receptive to the messages of global jihad. “The recruiters are good at brainwashing disoriented people and finding their weakness,” as he further says it. (Time, Oct 17, 2005)

The splicing Bali Bombing with JI is still unaccepted reality among Indonesians. Hidayat Nurwahid, the former President of PKS (Partai Keadilan Sejahtera, Prosperous Justice Party), the Ikhwanul Muslimin of Indonesia, opposed to any linkage the Bali Bombing II to Islamic terrorism. He put in apology, it was not carried out by Islamic terrorist since there is no terrorism within Islam. In addition, according to common Indonesians, the Bali Bombing is a result of international conspiracy to undermine Indonesia --to some extent, toward Islam. Strikingly, some said Indonesian government alone carried out the bombing to deflect growing demonstration in the wake of soaring up fuel prices.

It is not of interest if that laymen put it, but it came up on the mind of Vice President Yusuf Kalla. Recently he stated that JI doesn’t exist. As a second highest leader in Indonesia whose unlimited access to any highly classified works of Intelligence, his statement left us many questions. His remarks is indeed to substantiate the lingering question.

But I am questioning the Vice President’s statement as a smoldering gun swirled in Bali Bomb I, Marriot Hotel, Australian Embassy, and recent Bali Bomb II. The violent bombing killing innocent people is the evident to the existence of terrorist in Indonesia.

Piqued by curiosity about JI, I get confirmation from Asrori S. Karni, a leading Indonesian journalist, whom stated that JI does exist. He interviewed several members whom have sworn allegation (bai’at) to the organization and being important persons in local structure of JI. Interestingly, he analyzed that the recent Bali Bombing II is not an official program of the organization. It was carried out without a direction from higher profiles, instead as a result of unruliness among younger members. What is actually happening within organization? This question needs an elaborate study. In fact, at the moment, JI splits into a radical wing and a less radical one.

Simply put, the existence of JI is an unquestionable fact. It leaves Indonesian Government into consideration whether to ban it or not. Rohan Gunaratna, the author of Combating Terrorism, propounds suggestion that Asian governments need to fight terror on multiple fronts. As far as Indonesia concerns, he states that Indonesia should enact stern counter-terrorism laws. Indonesia should ban JI, enabling the country’s security agencies to move decisively against it. Indonesia should clean up the radical madrasahs that breed extremist, subjecting them to tougher law enforcement and pressure Muslim religious and educational organizations to police them. According to me, cleaning up the radical madrasahs is not the sole solution. Rather, the empowerment of existing madrasahs belongs to Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) is very much needed.

1 comment:

aqiqah said...

makasih infonya mas..