Police Power, Soft Power and Extremist Sub-culture in Indonesia

by Mark Woodward, Ali Amin and  Inayah Rohmaniyah* In recent months, Indonesian security forces, including the US-trained Detachment 88, have proven to be increasingly effective in locating, capturing or killing suspected terrorists. But police power alone will never defeat a deeply entrenched extremist sub-culture.  Soft power is a crucial component as well, perhaps even more important than enforcement. The deaths of Noordin Top on September 17, 2009 and Dulmatin on March 9 of this year, […] Read more »

Bombing Reactions by Indonesian Groups are Telling

by Mark Woodward On 17 July 17 2009, Indonesia and the world were shocked by another round of terrorist attacks. Two powerful bombs exploded in the J.W. Marriott and Ritz- Carlton hotels in Jakarta, Indonesia. Another was found and defused in a hotel room the bombers had rented. I am currently visiting Indonesia and have observed initial reactions by ordinary Indonesians as well as by various religious/political organizations.  Two different kinds of responses by the organizations are telling. […] Read more »

Resisting Wahhabi Colonialism in Yogyakarta

by Mark Woodward* (Yogykarta, October 2008) Accounts of the “War of Words” or the “Battle for the Soul of Islam” or whatever else one choose to call the ideological struggle between “radicals” and “moderates” in the Muslim world tend to focus on elite level intellectual discourse that is largely divorced from the daily realities of Muslim life. This is understandable. Most western observes of Muslim life are political scientists or pundits who are at home […] Read more »