By Silvia Rahmah*
Since 2004, I have been an active listener and advocate for women who have problems, including the wife of a terrorist. Generally, they and their children are stigmatized and ostracized from society, even though many of them are not aware of their husband’s involvement with terrorist groups.
The local community seems to be reasonable in labeling if one of the families becomes a criminal, including terrorism. They assume that the family must accept the impact and as a result, at least shunned by the community. Not to mention the accusations leveled against the wives of the terrorists that they were involved in the movement carried out by their husbands.
I accompanied the wives of terrorist women and saw the fact that many of them did not understand what their husbands were doing. The husband’s daily life is natural, if she is more religious because she really intends to study religion more deeply, it doesn’t even occur to her that her husband is part of a terrorist group.
Then I realized that the basic assumption that influences a person’s mind to join a terrorism group is the idea that is embedded in the mind and belief in the heart about the truth of radicalism. This idea was strengthened by the growing social and political situation, which later became a justification for committing acts of violence.
Therefore, the deradicalization process carried out must use an approach that touches the heart, especially for ex-terrorism convicts, wives, and children of convicts. I then provided assistance through the Rumah Daulat Buku (Rudalku) in Tasikmalaya City. The approach taken is a literacy approach to encourage them to reflect and realize their thinking mistakes so far.
The literacy approach taken by Rudalku is to provide a reading house which is facilitated by the wives of convicts and ex-convicts who have been released. The reading house or library is enough to be prepared at home, so that it can build creativity that is beneficial for all residents of the house and the surrounding community. This activity can also rebuild social interactions that had been cut off.
The theme carried at the missile reading park is “A lot of reading makes you open, a lot of reading makes you tolerant”. Because when they read books whose contents contradict the reference books they used to read, they will ask questions and discuss with people who already have a peace perspective. The literacy approach process has indeed grown in many areas, but has not touched the families of ex-convicts let alone given them the confidence to manage the reading house. Now through Rudalku, their confidence begins to grow with a new understanding of jihad that is rahmatan lil alamin.
*The author is the caretaker of PP Al Khoeriyah Tasikmalaya