The South Tangerang administration has urged the central government to formulate a bill to protect pious people from the threat of radicalism. South Tangerang is, according to the home minister, categorized as a "red zone" or an area vulnerable to Islamic Sate (IS) infiltration.
A law to protect pious people was vital to allow the local government to adopt firm measures to prevent and curb the emergence of radical groups, South Tangerang Mayor Airin Rachmi Diany says.
"The city administration realizes that Tangerang is one of the locations where radical groups grow. We actively build strategies to anticipate radical group movements, but we need a law as a legal basis," she stated at a seminar on radicalism and terrorism at Darma Persada University on Tuesday.
According to Airin, the local government has prepared several strategies to prevent radical groups from emerging, by empowering the Inter-Religious Harmony Forum (FKUB) and facilitating periodical inter-faith dialogue on development, social, political and religious issues.
The local government set up the Integrated Team in Overcoming Terrorism and Radicalism as well as mapped the potential of radicalism in seven subdistricts and villages in South Tangerang, she said.
It involved Muslim organizations Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), Muhammadiyah and the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) as well as the Indonesian Hindu Religious Council (PHDI), the Council of Buddhist Communities (Walubi), the Indonesian Bishops Conference (KWI), the Indonesian Communion of Churches (PGI) and the Council of Confucianism in Indonesia (Matakin).
They will be involved in raising awareness on tolerant, moderate and inclusive religious practices, Airin added.
Similarly, terrorism and intelligence expert Wawan H. Purwanto praised the South Tangerang administration's effort to actively involve the government structure in campaigning against the spread of radicalism.
"Terrorism cannot be tackled only through prosecution. The local government should also take preventive measures. Of course, the central government should support the effort by creating a legal basis," he said.
According to Wawan, the religious people protection bill, when enacted into law, could support the local government's programs to restrain the spread of radicalism within the community and schools. (ags)