Indonesia Criminalizes Support for ISIS

Indonesia Criminalizes Support for ISIS

The Indonesian government announced on Monday that public support for the terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), now rebranded as the Islamic State, is illegal in the nation, as well as the publication of any pro-ISIS propaganda. The ban is a response to a growing effort on ISIS’s part to recruit jihadists in the nation.

The Jakarta Post reports that the government issued the ban through a press conference, in which they announced that they would crack down on any attempts to recruit Indonesians to fight and commit genocide in Iraq and Syria. Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Djoko Suyanto told the public that all support for the group was now banned, as “[ISIS] is not in line with state ideology, Pancasila, or the philosophy of kebhinekaan [diversity] under the unitary state of the Republic of Indonesia.”

He added that all recruitment tools, including YouTube videos, were also now banned. That edict follows the release of a video on ISIS’s Al-Hayat Media Network of a video designed specifically to recruit Indonesian Muslims. A man identified as Abu Muhammad al-Indonesi– in the now-traditional custom of ISIS Mujahideen taking the surname of their homeland– appears in the video urging Indonesians to join the fight “Are your wives and children the reason that you’re prevented from jihad?” he asks, “Are your homes, businesses, and wealth more beloved to you than Allah, His Messenger, and jihad in his path?”

Indonesia has not only been targeted by the Islamic State directly. Merchants looking to take advantage of the increasing popularity of the jihadist group have opened online stores catering to Indonesians seeking to express their support of ISIS. The stores sell everything from t-shirts and bandanas to flags and mujihadeen figurines. The Indonesian government did not specify whether these stores would be specifically targeted as part of the new ban.

The government’s ban is in part a response to the growing concerns by Indonesia’s moderate Muslim community that ISIS is making ideological gains in the country, despite the complete lack of a presence there. Last week, executive council chair of the Nahdlatul Ulama, one of the largest Muslim organizations in the country, warned Indonesians to be “critical” of ISIS, as they are not working for a “Caliphate [Islamic State]; but working for its own cause and gains from a sectarian issue.”


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