January 12, 2011:
There are still about 40 known Islamic terrorists loose in Indonesia. Most of the key leaders have been killed or captured in the past year. And there is still some popular support for the Islamic radicals. A lot of this comes from young men attracted by the use of violence against Christians, women wearing Western clothing (and not being submissive to men) and Moslem men enjoying themselves in nightclubs and bars. These guys also tend to be unemployed, or working a low-paying jobs they feel are beneath them. The young men are also upset that the girls tend to do better at school (girls study harder) and have an easier time getting jobs (women are seen as more productive employees). Islamic conservatism stresses less education for women and not allowing women to work outside the home. There is also a lot of anger at the corruption in the government and throughout society. But the angry young men have more immediate things to be upset about.
As of last year, the Philippines was the scene of more Islamic terrorism than Indonesia. That status is not expected to last, because there are so many young Moslem men attracted to Islamic conservatism in Indonesia. But Indonesian counter-terror officials believe they can contain the Islamic radicals, and continue to reduce Islamic terrorist activity.
One thing discouraging Islamic radicalism is the constant media coverage of Islamic militants being prosecuted. Recently, two policemen were sent to jail for ten years for selling weapons and ammo to an Islamic terror group in Aceh (western Indonesia). But most of the trials are of men accused of Islamic terrorism, and most are convicted and sent to prison. This has a chilling effect on terrorist wannabes.