17 July 2010

Report: Indonesia: The Dark Side of Jama'ah Ansharut Tauhid (JAT)

The International Crisis Group (ICG), a non-governmental organization that surprisingly receives most of its funding from governments (54%, according to its own website), on 6 July 2010 released a report titled "Indonesia: The Dark Side of Jama'ah Ansharut Tauhid (JAT)" (Asia Briefing no. 107).

The full text of the report can be read free of charge here:


Excerpts: "Jama'ah Ansharut Tauhid (JAT), led by Indonesia's best-known radical [Muslim] cleric Abu Bakar Ba'asyir, has been an enigma since its founding in 2008. An ostensibly aboveground organisation, it has embraced individuals with known ties to fugitive extremists. It has welcomed many members of the militant Jema'ah Islamiyah (JI) but clashed with the JI leadership over strategy and tactics. It preaches jihad against Islam's enemies but insists it stays within the law – though it rejects man-made laws as illegitimate. [...] It recruits through mass rallies and smaller religious instruction sessions in which Ba'asyir and other JAT figures fulminate against democracy, advocate full application of Islamic law, and preach a militant interpretation of jihad. [...]

"The [...] challenge for Indonesia is to manage the aspirations of the thousands who join JAT rallies for its public message: that democracy is antithetical to Islam, that only an Islamic state can uphold the faith, and that Islamic law must be the source of all justice. [...] Islamic teachings, according to JAT, are the absolute, most modern and most scientific truth and will be so until the end of time. Anyone who believes otherwise is a deviant, including followers of secularism, pluralism, liberalism and all other ideologies under their banners such as nationalism, communism, socialism and democracy. [...] For their own good now and in the hereafter, Muslims are required to live under a caliphate that applies Islamic law."

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