- Dakwah before Jihad: Understanding the Behaviour of Jemaah Islamiyah
- Contemporary Southeast Asia: A Journal of International and Strategic Affairs
- ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute
- Volume 41, Number 1, April 2019
- pp. 14-34
- View Citation
- Additional Information
What prompted Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) to turn away from terror tactics? This article argues JI did not disengage from violence per se because it did not demobilize and disarm. Instead, it is more appropriate to view JI as having postponed amaliyat (actions) until such time as it has built up sufficient support among the population. This occurred in response to three factors: the realization of the costs exacted on the network by the 2002 Bali bombing; the splintering off of the group’s pro-bombing wing; and the series of mass arrests following the disruption of its project to build a secure base in Poso, Central Sulawesi. Taken together, these events reinforced the understanding that dakwah (Islamic propagation) had to precede jihad, a view that was already present within parts of the JI network prior to certain members’ decision to undertake terrorist attacks. This article explores how JI members who were involved in terror attacks revised their previously held views in light of these experiences.