The jihadist terror group Islamic State has made no mystery of its intentions to expand out of Iraq and Syria and into the world’s largest Muslim country, Indonesia. In addition to videos and magazines targeted at Indonesian Muslims, some are reporting that Islamic State has begun recruiting in mosques by offering free fried chicken.
The Jakarta Globe reports that, despite being officially banned in Indonesia, supporters of the Islamic State have begun organizing and proselytizing to Muslims at certain mosques. One group, which renamed itself “Ansharul Khilafah” so as not to be overtly related to the now-illegal organization, has used a mosque in the city of Makang as recruitment headquarters, where they distribute propaganda to Muslims arriving simply to comply with their prayer requirements.
One individual, Aji Prase, told the Jakarta Globe that he was alerted to the existence of the new Islamic State cell through Facebook, having been tagged in a post about the group. In attending an informational meeting out of curiosity, Prase said: “There was a video screening and a sermon about ISIS. They handed out Al Mustaqbal magazines, brochures and vouchers for fried chicken.” The report does not indicate which fried chicken establishment participated– knowingly or otherwise– in the promotion, or whether its products are designated halal.
In addition to promotional fried chicken, the jihadists distributed a magazine titled Al Mustaqbal, written in Malay, which claimed on the cover to explain the “truth about ISIS.” The Daily Mail notes that the magazine announced on the front that it “explores history, development, creed and manhaj (the Islamic methodology by which truth is reached).”
Despite the promotions, Prase says he did not feel comfortable being catered to by a jihadist group. “We are worried about the [existence of ISIS], which is notorious for its brutal force and violence,” he explained, “…We don’t want Malang to be its headquarters, because this would only bring violence here.”
The government has responded swiftly to the threat, telling the Jakarta Post that they will have no tolerance for attempts at spreading jihadist propaganda. “The government will not allow ISIS to develop in Indonesia, because it goes against the ideology of our Pancasila, which promotes pluralism,” Djoko Suyanto, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, announced during a press conference this week.
In addition to recruitment programs, Islamic State members in the Middle East have targeted the nation with propaganda videos out of its new media outfit, Al Hayat news. In the targeted video, Abu Muhammad al-Indonesi, an Islamic State member who traveled to Syria from Indonesia, demands of Muslim men to abandon their families and join the jihad in the Middle East. He also takes the opportunity to threaten the rest of the world: “And insha’allah, it will liberate all the lands of the oppressed Muslims from the tawaghit who do not implement the Sharia of Islam.”