Rectors Asked to Prevent Radicalism

Kompas, page 1, Sunday, May 7

Rectors of all higher education institutions in Indonesia are responsible for preventing and combating radicalism among students and lecturers. The understanding/perception that threatens the unity and union of the nation lately starts to target intellectuals. Minister of Research, Technology and Higher Education Mohammad Nasir called on all higher education rectors to more closely monitor the dissemination of radicalism. The Rector must be responsible for the dynamics inside and outside the campus. All student group activities and teaching materials from lecturers must be ensured to contain no material that leads to national division. It was conveyed by Nasir while attending the State Defense Spirit Declaration from Semarang for Indonesia at Semarang State University (Unnes), Central Java, on Saturday (6/5).

The declaration was signed by the rectors and student representatives of state and private universities throughout Central Java. One of its contents is anti-radicalism/terrorism.  Nasir reminded that universities are instructed to have a state defense curriculum and national insight to prevent radicalism. Radicalism must be eradicated from the campus environment to preserve the future of the nation’s generation.

On the same occasion, Head of Counter Terrorism Agency (BNPT) Commissioner General Suhardi Alius said the potential of campuses exposed to radicalism is great. Young people become the main target because they are still in the process of seeking identity. The spread of radicalism is also increasingly young concurrent with the development of communication technology. He added that the rector should know if there is a lecturer or student who suddenly disappears or lost communication. It could be the embryo of radicalism.

According to Suhardi, radical groups in the campus environment can be identified. They usually consist of a handful of people who often hold closed meetings and rarely communicate with the surrounding environment. The rector must be able to detect signs of the spread of radicalism from early on by strengthening among elements of the campus.

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