Terrorism, Between Idealism and Human Nature

By : Adri Syakir
Writer is a graduate from Syiah Kuala University, Indonesia

Ever we wonder what exactly is the root of all terrorism? Some might say it is because of evil idealism of some people or some groups. But when we talk about terrorism, there is not only adult people involve, but young people also, even a boy below 15 years old was involved in terrorism nowadays. Then we ask again, is it possible for people in such a young age develop such evil idealism that root to large scale terrorism by their self? or why would young people easily belief in evil idealism that taught to them?. The answer for the first question is maybe, because psychologically it is possible. But the answer for the second question is because of their “terrorist” ecosystem.

            Let us think terrorism as human nature, that means we all have “terrorist” nature inside our self. To affirm my opinion, let us see some examples about what I called small scale terrorism. We already know that bullying happened much in school inside young people “territory” between superior group of young people and inferior group of young people. The bullying itself is some form of small scale terrorism, because it invades other people freedoms. Then, another example about small scale terrorism is when some groups gossiping about the badness or the deficiency or other people, it is clearly invade other people privacy. Again I am going to say this is examples of small scale terrorism.


            We only do not aware that terrorism is actually our human nature, although not all of us develop this nature into some evil idealism that cause large scale terrorism. Some people live in an ecosystem where the level of “terrorism” is low, such as peaceful country, or peaceful religious community. On the other hand, there is people who live in an ecosystem where the level of “terrorism” is high, such as conflict country, or fanatic community of religion. The problem is there so many young people live in this dangerous ecosystem that escalates their “terrorist” nature. Then with the help of adult terrorist, the number of young people who join terrorist group is increase each year.

            Then the big question to ask is, what is the solution to the problem of young people joining terrorist group? To answer this question, first we need to know where the area in the world most affected by terrorism is. According to the Global Terrorism Index 2015, the area Middle East, Asian, and Africa are the most affected by terrorism. The top 5 among the list with the highest rate of terrorism are Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Syria. As we can see, that 5 countries are post-war countries, conflict countries, and developing countries. Indonesia itself is at rank 33 with terror rating is 4.76 in scale to 10.    

            To counter terrorism in the world, I would like to say we must start with suppressing the terrorist nature in young people by making more area with ecosystem where the level of “terrorism” is low. We can create this ecosystem by making many groups or organization of young people that has positives purpose since school. Developing countries is lack of this kind of organization, that is why developing countries has the change to become conflict countries then become post-war countries which has the highest rate of terrorism.

            We take example of Japan, the nation where the terrorist act is almost never heard, or we can say Japan is one of the nations that have the lowest rate in terrorism. Japan is the most perfect nation as example of my idea. Japan has the system that obligates every students in school to join a club or extracurricular activity like sport kind of club, academic kind of club, even hobbies kind of club. This club system is what I mean in groups or organization of young people. When the student involved in some club, they will focus on the positive purpose of their club so their terrorist nature will not develop into a more problematic idealism. With this ecosystem, the level of terrorist will suppressed as the suppression of terrorist nature go.

            Then, I am going to compare it to my nation, Indonesia. In Indonesia, we also have the club system or extracurricular activities, but the system does not obligate the student to join one of the club or extracurricular activities. Although the school club in Indonesia does not as much as in Japan. So the student is free to choose either they want to join or not. That makes there are many students who do not has any club or organization. This kind of student then will make the perfect prey for adult terrorist to make them join the terrorist group. That is why making the system like Japan did is one simple way to suppress the number of young people joining the terrorist group.

            It is like I said before, every human has a “terrorist” nature inside them, and a human has more than one nature, it is just a matter of time what nature that going to take control over somebody. The most effective way to suppress one nature is by developing another nature, so with the low level “terrorist” ecosystem such as club or organization with positives purpose for young people, the positive act they do in their club or organization will develop good nature and suppress “terrorist” nature.

            Although I am not going to say it is easy to create such a low level “terrorist” ecosystem, especially to post-war countries, because some of those countries are controlled by terrorist. Such as Syria that controlled by ISIS, when there is so many adult terrorist and the ecosystem with high level of terrorism, it is easy to assume that the young people there has the highest change to be affected by terrorist. But the best way to counter the number of terrorist is not by war, it is by making sure every terrorism group has no change to make their next generation people.