Many scholars and analysts have said that terrorism cannot be defeated either by military, or law and order means only. It requires multi-pronged and multi-faceted approach, which includes strategies to eliminate the roots and causes of terrorism.
One of the root causes of terrorism is the ideology that drives and motivates terrorists. This ideology can be ethno-nationalistic or politico-religious in nature or others.
However, acts of terror are not born out of ideology alone. Terrorism is committed when opportunity, motivation and capability meet. Ideology is but one of many important elements that motivates a person to commit terrorism. Muslim terrorists, and Al-Qaeda especially, are not excluded. Undeniably, the role of ideology is especially significant for Al-Qaeda and its associates.
Prevention of terrorism requires the elimination of at least one of the three elements mentioned above. One of which is motivation, which may be driven by an ideology.
The radical worldview of Al-Qaeda and its Southeast Asian counterpart, Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), poses a particular challenge. The organization’s pervasiveness and its deadly violence – as demonstrated by the October 12, 2002 Bali attack and the August 5, 2003 Marriott bombing – have catapulted JI as the principal security threat to the region. If left unimpeded, JI’s ideology, propaganda, and political apparatus will further radicalize Muslim communities in Southeast Asia. They will indoctrinate them into a culture of violence and habituate them with radical interpretations of Islam. In time, new acts of violence will be carried out by a new generation of terrorist recruits.
Many experts have argued for a comprehensive approach in the war against terrorism, which includes combating the ideology of terrorist groups especially Al-Qaeda and its associates. Nevertheless, not many have been written on how to go about doing it.
This site seeks to, 1) offer responses towards radical ideology that underlies Muslim perpetrated terrorism (See Responses), 2) share perspectives on how counter-ideology can be executed (See Perspectives), 3) provide relevant materials on Islam’s position on jihad, terrorism, extremism etc. (See relevant categories).