Using Religion and Culture to Fight Terrorism: Lessons from The Philippine Military

oleh Bayu Mitra A. Kusuma* The Philippine government is recruiting Muslims into the military in an attempt to counter terrorism through a mixture of religious and security approaches. The Philippines faces increasing security pressure since the rise of the Maute, a terrorist group affiliated with IS (Islamic State), in Marawi city. The group in May last year laid siege to Marawi, the capital of the Muslim [...]

General Election of Malaysia 2018: The Voice of Malaysians

By: Yi Xue Fang* Yesterday, Malaysia was renowned for her Kleptocracy Government, and today all Malaysia is acclaimed for a new era of Democracy. Malaysians had embarked another new history on 9th of May 2018. It wasn’t just revolving around the news feed in Malaysia, but throughout the globe on Earth. As a youth plus a first time voter, I was indeed really excited and [...]

The Philippines Military’s Muslim Special Unit: Religious and Cultural Approaches to Face Extremists

by Bayu Mitra A. Kusuma* In the midst of the Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) half-century celebration on August 8, 2017, the extremism issue continues to haunt this region. Especially after the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in the Middle East increasingly squeezed and began to build their new existence in the southern Philippines through the Maute group. The lunge of Maute [...]

Abu Sayyaf Piracy: An ASEAN Political Security Challenge

by Bayu Mitra A. Kusuma* Various reports about piracy and kidnapping activities in the border waters area between Indonesia and the Philippines seemed endless. Ironically one of the kidnapping happened after the meeting of Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines armed forces commanders which resulting a joint patrol MoU. This condition seemed to illustrate that border waters as de facto has been controlled by armed militias, in [...]

Human rights of Rohingya Muslims

Oleh: K. S. Venkatachalam* The stance of the Myanmar government that the Rohingyas are illegal immigrants and, thus, not the original inhabitants of Myanmar does not stand the test of historical records. It has a ridiculous that these people have been living in Arakan (later renamed as Rakhine) for over 500 years — even before its capture by the Burmese army in the early 15th century. [...]

Islam in Southeast Asia

Asia is home of 65 percent of the world’s Muslims, and Indonesia, in Southeast, is the world’s most populous Muslim country. This essay looks at the spread of Islam into Southeast Asia and how religious belief and expression fit with extant and modern polictical and economic infrastructures. [...]