Study finds universities infiltrated by radical trans-national Islamic groups

Source – June 25, 2019
LPPM UNUSIA discussion in Jakarta - June 25, 2019 (Suara)
LPPM UNUSIA discussion in Jakarta - June 25, 2019 (Suara)

Pebriansyah Ariefana and Stephanus Aranditio – The Jakarta Nahdlatul Ulama Indonesia (UNUSIA) Research and Social Service Institute (LPPM) has found that trans-national exclusive Islamic groups have infiltrated eight state tertiary institutions (PTN). There are concerns that this movement will create radicalism among students.

LPPM UNUSIA researcher Naeni Amanulloh said that the eight campuses are the Eleven March University (UNS) in Surakarta (Solo), the State Institute of Islamic Studies (IAIN) in Surakarta, the Diponegoro University (UNDIP) in Semarang, the Semarang State University (UNNES), the Gajah Mada University (UGM) in Yogyakarta, the Yogyakarta State University (UNY), the University of Soedirman (Unsoed) and IAIN in Purwokerto.

Amanulloh categories these Islamic movements into three groups, namely Salafi (an ultra-conservative movement within Sunni Islam), the Indonesian Muslim Students Action Front (KAMMI) and Gema Pembebasan (GP) – which is affiliated with the banned Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI).

He said that the Salafi groups distance themselves from political issues and tend to emphasise a pure form of syariah (Islamic law).

Meanwhile the KAMMI and GP-HTI tend to see politics as a part of being religious. The KAMMI fights for the application of syariah in society within a democratic system.

“Meanwhile Gema Pembebasan, like the HTI, see the state along with its ideology, including democracy, as thaghut (oppressors) which must be resisted. This group is convinced that the solution to all problems is the establishment of a khilafah [Islamic caliphate]”, said Amanulloh during a discussion titled Promoting Moderate Religious Views and Movements in the Campus Arena at the Sofyan Hotel in Cikini, Central Jakarta, on Tuesday June 25.

In general, these movements are endeavoring to control positions on campus Student Executive Councils (BEM), campus faculties, departmental student associations (HMJ), campus mosques, religious mentoring, scholarship bodies and establishing Islamic boarding schools to provide rental accommodation to students.

“These efforts are carried out to maintain the chain of cadreisation as part of strategic steps to maintain the life of their ideological movements”, he asserted.

The authorities on these campuses have already responded to the LPPM UNUSIA study’s findings. The rector of UNDIP Semarang for example has issued an instruction on the formation of an UNDIP Anti-Radicalism Team (TIMARU).

This team is tasked with preventing radical ideas from entering UNDIP by, for example, establishing a criteria for resource people who can be invited to campus events.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “8 Universitas Ini Disusupi Kelompok Islam Trans Nasional, Benih Radikalisme”.]