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Jakarta Post

Study highlights vulnerability of Salafi ‘pesantren’ to radicalism

  • Ardila Syakriah
    Ardila Syakriah

    The Jakarta Post

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Jakarta   /   Sun, December 22, 2019   /  05:22 pm
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Sweet dreams: A student sleeps during a session. The 'Kitab Kuning' lessons start after dawn prayers and run until the noon prayers.(JP/Sigit Pamungkas)

As a Muslim majority country, Indonesia is home to more than 28,000 pesantren (Islamic boarding schools), which have produced many bright thinkers, politicians and even a president. On the other hand, a number of these schools have also seen some of their alumni become terrorists. Convicted terrorist Abu Bakar Ba’asyir, for one, went to the renowned pesantren of Gontor in East Java. He was found guilty of funding a military training camp for terrorists in Aceh.  Islamic State (IS) ideologue Aman Abdurrahman, who is on death row, was also known as a bright student during his pesantren years in West Java. He is the leader of Jamaah Ansharud Daulah (JAD), an extremist network blamed for a string of recent terrorist attacks, including the 2018 Surabaya church bombings. The apparent link between pesantren and terrorism in the country prompted researchers at the Center for ...