For this episode, Kate Grealy discusses the role of the label “radical” in Indonesia’s current political climate.
This episode is based on a conference paper Kate recently presented, called Hardliners, Moderates and the Politics of Islam in Indonesia.
Terrorism prevention efforts in Indonesia have long had a strong focus on ideological expressions of extremism within Islam, and claimed to promote a moderate Islam as an antidote to the extremism deemed to create terrorism. Kate’s research asks just how useful this type of approach actually is, and why are some extremisms considered riskier than others in the current political climate. It finds that the label “radical”, while an important definitional tool, is being instrumentalised by the state and those in positions of power to repress certain forms of criticism and silence those considered a threat.