Religious extremism among students in major campuses in Indonesia remains a cause for concern for Indonesian government officials. But few have discussed religious extremism among students in Indonesian universities. This presentation aims to explore what cause Indonesian university students to subscribe to extreme ideas of Islam and also to analyse the effectiveness of government and campus policies in tacking student religious extremism in Indonesia major campuses. I argue that university students are lured to subscribe to religious extreme ideas due to increasing religious extremism narratives in public or private spheres. These narratives are internalized in the minds of university students in systematic and structured ways, through regular meetings and online postings, and through public events such as webinars organized by student organizations that promote extreme ideas of Istam. The government and campus authorities have formulated and implemented strategies to tackle the religious extremism problems among university students, but they largely work in silos hence their strategies are not fully effective. This research is based on, among others, in-depth interviews with student activists, campus authorities and government officials during a one month-long field trip in some major campuses in Yogyakarta, Jakarta and Bandung between October and November 2021.
A'an Suryana, Ph.D. is Visiting Fellow at ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, Singapore. His areas of interests are Good Governance, Minority Studies, State Practices, National Security (Communal Violence, Conflict Resolution and Terrorism), Political Islam Media Studies & Freedom of Information. His book, which is based on his dissertation, has been published by Routledge entitled The State and Religious Violence in Indonesia: Minority Faiths and Vigilantism. He has also published in some reputable regional and international journals, including Asian Studies Review and South East Asia Research. This presentation is based on his publication from ISEAS-Trends in Southeast Asia 2022 series entitled "Religious Extremism in Major Campuses in Indonesia.