Indonesian Government Blocks 300 Sites Linked to Extremist Radicalism

By: Qichen Zhang on 30 September 2011
Posted in Indonesia, Asia

Indonesia's Ministry of Information and Communication announced plans to block websites that contain extremist content, reports Penn Olson, the Asian Tech Catalog. Today, the press revealed the Indonesian government's plans to take down 300 sites believed to host radical activity or views. Ratri Adityarani wrote that Antara, a Jakarta news site, recently published comments from IC Minister Tifatul Sembiring who stated:

There were calls to block or shut down sites that agitate and insult religion, but we will do it gradually [...] And the community should manage the information more rationally so they won't be easily influenced.

Other sources report that this was not solely a government initiative. According to Radio Australia News, Nahdlatul Ulama, Indonesia's biggest Muslim organization, encouraged the government to proceed with a website ban, claiming that extreme doctrines are "fueling racial violence" across the country. And religious hate crimes have developed in the southeast Asian country recently. Just Sunday, a suicide bomber attacked a church in Central Java, wounding at least 22 other people. The same bomber was also responsible for a mosque attack in West Java several months earlier. It remains to be seen whether an Internet block will reduce the violence, however.