Radicalism growing in suburbs, NGO finds

JAKARTA • •Intolerance has grown among middle-income Indonesians living in the suburbs, according to findings released by rights group Setara.

Research conducted from July to last month found that Bogor and Depok, two satellite cities in West Java, to the south of Jakarta, have become hotbeds for radical preachers to spread radical and hate-fuelled messages in multiple places, such as universities and housing complexes.

The researchers gathered the data through direct observations of Islamic religious activity and covert in-depth interviews with more than 20 people in each city, ranging from preachers, housing developers, students and civil servants to former terrorist convicts and officials from the National and Political Unity Office.

"We found that intolerance and radicalism in Depok were spread through religious activities and even education institutions. They can also be found in housing complexes, which lack attention from the government," Setara researcher Sudarto said on Wednesday.

Mr Sudarto found that sermons given in housing complexes generally encouraged people to prepare for a holy war. He added that they also conveyed hate-fuelled messages against believers of other faiths.

THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 03, 2017, with the headline 'Radicalism growing in suburbs, NGO finds'. Print Edition | Subscribe