Indonesian station accused of preaching extremism, says it ‘strongly rejects’ radical ideologies

Tuesday 23 August, 2016
Photo: Radio Hang FM 106/Facebook

 

Indonesia’s Batam-based Radio Hang FM 106 found itself in the spotlight over the weekend when Singapore's Ministry of Home Affairs detained two Singaporeans who said they were radicalised after listening to its broadcasts.

Rosli Hamzah, 50, and Mohamed Omar Mahadi, 33, began listening to the station in 2009 and 2010 respectively and it is believed the station's extreme preachers made them more susceptible to being radicalised by propaganda in later years.

On its Facebook page, Radio Hang describes itself as an Islamic station that preaches the message of Islam.

Its reach extends to Singapore and Malaysia over the airwaves, and can be streamed online as well. 

It airs no music but only Quranic recitations and religious speeches by local Bahasa Indonesia-speaking clerics who hold extremely conservative views and reject local traditions and customs.

The station, which was set up by Batam resident Zein Alatas, a former bank officer, was issued a warning earlier in 2014 after a number of local Islamic organisations protested against its content, calling it “divisive”.

The station, however, said it "strongly rejects" and opposes radical ideologies, terrorism and the Islamic State terror group, in a statement to Channel NewsAsia

It also added that it is impossible to do so, because Radio Hang is monitored by the Broadcast Commission of Indonesia.

In a statement, Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs said: “The Government will block websites and radio stations, or remove online content that promotes radical ideology, when it is deemed necessary. More important, however, is to sensitise the public to the dangers of extremist rhetoric, and equip them with social media literacy so that they will not be vulnerable to terrorist propaganda.”

“The Government will take action against persons who purvey extremist views, especially those which espouse violence or denigrate the beliefs of others. Every member of the public has a responsibility not to engage in such activity, not to support others who do so and to speak out against it,” it added.

Country Indonesia
Location: 
Indonesia
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