Solahudin on the roots of terrorism in Indonesia

Stephanie Dunstan

At ANU on Wednesday evening the Lowy Institute launched a new book, The Roots of Terrorism in Indonesia: from Darul Islam to Jema’ah Islamiyah, by a leading authority on Islamic extremism in Indonesia, Solahudin.

Published jointly by the Lowy Institute and NewSouth Publishing, the book is an edited English language version of Solahudin’s best selling NII Sampai JI: Salafy Jihadisme di Indonesia, translated by the Lowy Institute’s Dave McRae. The translation and publication of the book was undertaken with the financial support of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Based on a remarkable bredth of original material, Solahudin’s book shows how the ideas and form of activism that lead to the Bali Bombings in 2002 have a long and complex history in Indonesia, stretching back to Darul Islam revolt in the 1940s. Solahudin argues that ‘al Qaeda-style ideology has been present in Indonesia for decades, long before al Qaeda itself emerged in the 1980s. To understand terrorism in Indonesia it is important to understand this local history, in addition to external jihadi influences’.

The book has already been reviewed by The Monthly and The Age, and Solahudin has done a number of interviews with the Australian press.

Sydney-siders who’d like to learn how Solahudin managed to get Indonesian militants to open up and talk about terrorism should get themselves down to GleeBooks tonight at 6.00pm. For those out of Sydney, here’s the podcast from Wednesday book launch which includes remarks from Professor Gareth Evans, ANU Chancellor and former Australian Foreign Minister, Allaster Cox, a First Assistant Secretary at DFAT, and the Lowy Institute’s Anthony Bubalo and Dave McRae.