ISIS Discourse in Radical Islamic Online News Media in Indonesia: Supporter or Opponent

ISIS Discourse in Radical Islamic Online News Media in Indonesia: Supporter or Opponent

Fajar Erikha (Universitas Indonesia, Indonesia), Idhamsyah Eka Putra (Persada Indonesia University, Indonesia) and Sarlito Wirawan Sarwono (Universitas Indonesia, Indonesia & Persada Indonesia University, Indonesia)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9869-5.ch034
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This article aims to understand how discourses about Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) are supported and/or rejected by radical Islamic groups. Data were collected from two Islamic news website: Voa-Islam and Arrahmah. Both websites are categorised as radical Islamic sites. By using the discursive psychology approach, it was found that when ISIS is viewed as a group that actualised the establishment of an Islamic State, it is praised and supported. However, when ISIS is deemed to have killed other fellow Muslims, it is opposed and its movement is considered to be ‘out of Islamic corridors'. Practical implications of these findings are identified and discussed.
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Literature Review

The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)

ISIS is a state as well as a political-military organisation with an orientation towards militant Salafi-jihadism that is not recognised by the Iraqi and Syrian authority (The Clarion Project, 2015). The name ISIS was used from 2013 to 2014, and changed into ‘The Islamic State’ after it was declared on June 29, 2014. Abu Bakar Al-Bagdadi was officially appointed as the leader of this group (Caliph). The Islamic State originally annexed Iraq and Syria because the two countries are considered to be important for the world jihad movement (Gerges, 2014).

In its journey, ISIS uses the legal interpretation of Islam (Sharia) and imposes its application in areas under its territorial control. ISIS performs extreme and oppressive acts such as suicide bombings, bank looting, and executions against those considered as its enemies – such as the West (e.g., America, Europe), as well as other Islamic groups (in Sunni or Shia sub-schools). Furthermore, ISIS propaganda materials (e.g., execution of all prisoners) have been shared and propagated through print media, Internet, and video.

Terrorism and ISIS in Indonesia

Ever since Abu Bakar Bashir (a former leader of Jemaah Islamiyah and Indonesian Mujahidin Council; currently, a leader of Jemaah Ansharut Tauhid [JAT]) pledged an allegiance to ISIS in Nusakambangan prison on July 18, 2014, ISIS has attracted the attention of the Indonesian government (Feillard, 2014). The Indonesian government immediately took a stand on this matter, and recognise the need to reject, prevent, and combat ISIS ideology.

On the one hand, opposition to ISIS has been seen across Indonesia. Major religious institutions such as Nadlatul Ulama (NU) and Muhammadiyah are supporting the stance adopted by the Indonesian government (“PBNU: Ulama Besar”, 2014; Putra & Sukabdi, 2014). Furthermore, anti-terror Special Detachment from Indonesian National Police (Densus 88) has arrested 14 people suspected to be ISIS members and sympathisers (T. Sembiring, personal communication, May 17, 2015). On the other hand, support from Indonesian Muslims towards ISIS has been seen in the form of recognising ISIS as the Islamic Caliphate. These Muslims pledge allegiance (via an oath of support) to ISIS, and send fighters to join ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

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