Universities to fight extremism with intelligence body

To combat extremism and prevent it from flourishing, universities in Indonesia are planning to work with the National Counter-Terrorism Agency (BNPT) to develop an intelligence body for campuses. This follows worrying findings from the BNPT that many universities have been exposed to radical ideologies, reports The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network.

The heads of 122 state universities in Indonesia gathered at the Research, Technology and Higher Education Ministry in Jakarta for a closed meeting to address the findings from the BNPT. Dwia Aries Tina Pulubuhu, rector of Hasanuddin University in Makassar, South Sulawesi, who is also head of the Indonesian Rector Forum, said last Monday that an organisation was needed to detect signs of radicalism in universities. “When it was discovered that a radical group was operating on our campus, or someone was arrested [for radicalism], we learned about it from the news, not from the BNPT. So we were shocked when we heard about it. We have to fix [our communication],” she told The Jakarta Post.

Members of the intelligence body, she added, would work to identify radical movements. They will inform the BNPT when they find something and vice versa. Education expert Arief Rachman Hakim said while he agreed that universities must eliminate radical teachings and movements, he also asked them to give students room to express themselves. “There must be enough space for them to communicate with the campus and express what they want,” he told The Post.
Full report on The Straits Times site