Date: Thursday, 6 January 2022
Time: 08.00 - 10.00 GMT+7
Platform: Zoom Meetings & Youtube Livestream
Speaker: Sidney Jones, Founder and Senior Adviser of Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict
Moderator: Carlos C. Tabunda, Jr., Dean of School of International Relations, New Era University, Philippines
Support for ISIS is declining, but it left a very dangerous legacy especially in Indonesia and other parts of the world. When ISIS has established a presence, that will affect extremist movements for a long time. ISIS will not collapse, but it will weaken eventually. The reasons for why some of these groups has weakened, collapse or become non-violent are loss of leadership, failure of leaders to respond to crises, personal disputes in leadership, un-Islamic behaviour (corruption, pornography), loss of funding, inactivity, police/military operations, change in goals, and external developments.
Between July 2014 to early 2015, ISIS was at its height. In Indonesia, about 2000 men and women swore the loyalty oath (bai’at). Then, it made them join ISIS and travel to Syria but eventually were caught and deported, died in combat or through airstrikes, illness or in a few cases, starvation in Kurdish prisons (SDF) for men, boys, women and children. Even with the defeats, the collapse, the fact that there is no longer any territory under the control of ISIS, this idea of ‘hijrah’ to Syria is still very strong.
Now, ISIS support is declining in Indonesia. The main factor is that Detachment 88 (Densus 88) has succeeded in persuading a number of top ideologues, top leaders of ISIS Indonesia to renounce their support for ISIS and they have brought many of their followers with them. The role of big tech companies like Facebook, Google and Telegram also contributes by taking down the pro-ISIS accounts. However, even though it is declining in support, that does not mean ISIS will disappear anytime soon. The power of the loyalty oath (bai’at) remains strong and leaves a lethal legacy.
What ISIS left as its legacy are: more concrete version and vision of an Islamic state, ISIS online media account to encourage member to disseminate, much greater role for women, and simplification of weaponry (from large weapons to simpler weaponry like the knife), among others. In conclusion, ISIS has left its mark, and we will see its legacy for generations to come.