Friday, June 11, 2010

The preventive approach to terrorism

The preventive approach to terrorism

The saga of "terrorist" hunting goes on in Indonesia. More targets are killed. More suspects' names are detected. This news coincides with the hotter news of chasing down those suspected of corruption. What a hard task for us Indonesians!

Many TV stations broadcast the drama of the chases, the arrests, and the shootings, as dramatically as scenarios in Hollywood movies. Of course, the former is more real than the latter.

Some Indonesian commentators, who appear in the electronic media, criticize this approach employed by our policemen, which is seen as curative rather than preventive.

It is true that shooting people is cruel. Some lawyers remind us that "terrorists" are also human beings who deserve humane treatment. They should not be treated like the objects of a hunting game. Consider too that they also have families and friends who watch TV every day. It is not hard to imagine how these friends and family members feel when their friend or relative is discredited in the media and chased by the police. Note that their children may want to take revenge.

However, what these commentators call preventive is still ambiguous. The Densus 88 anti-terror squad's approach is curative. No doubt. The team extinguishes a fire that is already burning.

A preventive approach is not the burden of the anti-terror squad. The preventive approach is a long-term task which should be shouldered by Indonesian society through educational institutions - be they formal, such as schools and universities, or informal such as pesantren (traditional boarding schools) or mosque groups. These institutions should give a balanced view of reason and religion, religious duty and humanity, dogma and history, and between the content of the scriptures and their interpretation.



Post a Comment

<< Home