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A clear consensus has emerged among Indonesia’s government, Muslim organizations, and public opinion rejecting the Islamic State, its agenda, and the brutality of its campaign to establish an Islamic caliphate in Syria and Iraq. Seeing the initial government response as weak,Muslim organizations took the lead in urging the government to prevent Indonesians from traveling to Iraq and Syria to fight with Islamic State, and to ban those currently there from returning to Indonesia to avoid a repeat of Indonesia’s experience with returning “Afghan jihadis” through the 1990s and early 2000s – culminating in the 2002 Bali bombing. President Joko Widodo has, since taking office in October 2014, announced a number of steps to prevent Islamic State ideology from taking root in Indonesia, including travel bans to and from Syria and Iraq, monitoring of Indonesians living and traveling elsewhere in the Middle East, and revision of Indonesia’s prison deradicalization programs. Steps in recent years to incorporate conservative religious parties into the political mainstream and the ensuing increase in public piety have largely robbed advocates of Islamic State’s radical agenda of a recruiting base and paved the way for a strong, anti-Islamic State consensus.


Institute for Religion, Politics, and Society

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Open Access Report

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Open Access