Regional Outlook, Global Perspective

GOVT TO COORDINATE EFFORTS TO PREVENT RADICALISM AT PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES

INDONESIA

The Jakarta Globe-June 6

Higher Education Minister Mohamad Nasir announced a plan on Monday (04/06) to meet with the heads of public universities towards the end of this month to coordinate efforts aimed at preventing radicalism on Indonesian campuses.

“We will discuss ways to tackle radicalism and intolerance on campus, what the implementation would look like, and how rectors can help address the issue and coordinate their respective deans to approach the issue comprehensively,” Nasir said, as reported by BeritaSatu.com.

He added that rectors must conduct a thorough verification process on their alumni and pay close attention to those still active on campus.

All three suspected terrorists arrested by the National Police’s elite counterterrorism unit, Densus 88, in Pekanbaru, Riau, last week, are alumni of Riau University.

Police said the suspects were planning to set off bombs in several locations, including the House of Representatives complex in Jakarta.

According to the National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT), several public universities are exposed to radicalism. These include the University of Indonesia in Depok, West Java; Bandung Institute of Technology in West Java; Brawijaya University in Malang, East Java; Diponegoro University in Semarang, Central Java; and Airlangga University in Surabaya, East Java.

Suteki, a law professor who headed the master of law studies program at Diponegoro University, was removed from his teaching post for allegedly expressing support for the now disbanded Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI) on social media.

The academic, who has taught the principles of Pancasila, Indonesia’s official state ideology, to students for the past 24 years, denied that he had any allegiance to HTI. He said his writing was an academic review of the government regulation in lieu of law on mass organizations that led to the disbandment of the Indonesian chapter of the pan-Islamist political organization that seeks to establish a global caliphate.

The University of Indonesia said it performs routine oversight of activities by its members on campus, and claimed that it was ready to crack down on any lecturers or students found to be involved in radicalism.

Meanwhile, Brawijaya University said it is cooperating with the State Intelligence Agency (BIN), as part of its efforts to prevent radicalism on campus.

“We have asked for the support of the intelligence agency to supervise students … whenever there’s reason for concern, I will be informed,” Brawijaya University rector Muhammad Bisri said, as quoted by Antara.

The Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education will work closely with relevant institutions, including the BNPT, to prevent radicalism on campus, Minister Nasir said.

There are also plans to include courses on nationhood in the new curriculum, and the minister reaffirmed that the monitoring of students and lecturers would continue.

“Rectors must act firmly, clearly and with measure when they find any indication of radicalism on campus. Rectors must pay close attention to lecturers, vice rectors and students,” Nasir said.

 

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