How social enterprise movement can stop acts of terrorism
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Nothing is new in the use of social enterprise to promote peace. The phenomenon has won global recognition with Nobel Peace prize awarded to social entrepreneurs like Wangari Maathai of the Greenbelt Movement in 2004, Muhammad Yunus, the founder of Grameen Bank in 2006 and former US vice president and environmental campaigner Al Gore in 2007.
Recognizing the lack of post-detention programs for convicted terrorists in Indonesia, I have embarked on a controversial program by engaging directly with them through social enterprise initiatives in a food business chain called Dapoer Bistik in Semarang and Solo, Central Java.
My first client was Yusuf Adirima, a former Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) fighter from Indonesia who had been arrested in Semarang for storing explosive materials in 2003. I met him in the Semarang Police Detention facility in 2003 while I was a journalist for The Washington Post.
My personal life journey has provided me with a multi-layered identity, spanning vastly different worlds. As a graduate of Ngruki Islami boarding school, I know how these “radical” people think and behave. Ngruki as a school is controversial because its founder was also the founder of Jamaah Islamiyah (JI). Many JI members have been involved in bomb attacks in Indonesia in the last 12 years, including the Bali blasts on Oct. 12, 2002.