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Religious radicalism in Indonesia and its historical roots


Zora A. Sukabdi

University of Indonesia, ID
About Zora
Zora A. Sukabdi, PhD, is a forensic psychologist. Her holistic approach to terrorism includes psychosocial, vocational, spiritual-ideological and cultural aspects, and is evidenced by her involvement in a number of disengagement and deradicalisation programmes. She is the patent owner of a 3D model of Motivation-Ideology-Capability Terrorism Risk Assessment and Rehabilitation for offenders (known as MIKRA), which she presented at the Indonesian Presidential Palace in 2017. Her work includes identifying parameters of successful rehabilitation, as well as aftercare programmes for bombing victims and terrorist offenders. Zora has designed the National Rehabilitation Guidelines for terrorist offenders, developed a curriculum for security entities, served in reintegration efforts, and has acted as coordinator among government institutions and civil society in Indonesia. She received the Allison Sudradjat Prize from the Government of Australia for her role in leadership.
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Indonesia boasts the world’s largest Muslim population. As such, it has formulated standardised instruments to detect religious radicalism in schools and working spaces. This article reviews Islamic radicalism and its historical roots, and aims to provide an understanding of Islamic radicalism in Indonesia and its development. The review discusses the differences between the closely related concepts of Islamic radicalism and extremism, and their indicators. In terms of the development of religious radicalism in the country, there is a large number of organisations and sub-groups related to religious radicalism in Indonesia that have evolved as a reaction to colonialism and political turbulence.
How to Cite: Sukabdi, Z.A., 2023. Religious radicalism in Indonesia and its historical roots. Contemporary Voices: St Andrews Journal of International Relations, 3(1), p.None. DOI:
Published on 20 Apr 2023.
Peer Reviewed


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