De-Radicalization of Former Terrorists

The Case of Indonesia


  • Hisanori Kato Chuo University



Islam, Indonesia, terrorism, de-radicalization, forgiveness, repentance


This article depicts the reality of de-radicalization programmes for former terrorists in Indonesia. The article aims to clarify the central advocates for, and content of, the programmes. There are several institutions that are engaged in de-radicalizing former terrorists, including both government and non-government organizations. The government is represented by the National Counter Terrorism Agency or Badan Nasional Penanggalangan Terorism (BNPT). This article also examines how these institutions play a role in the process of de-radicalization. The actual voices of former terrorists obtained through fieldwork will also be analysed with regard to how they came to regret their actions in order to scrutinize the process of their religious metamorphosis. The concept of forgiveness in Islam will also be discussed. As some might believe that Islam is a religion of punishment, it is worth analysing the merciful side of Islam.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Hisanori Kato, Chuo University

Hisanori Kato obtained his Master of Arts with Merit and PhD from the University of Sydney. He has conducted research on Indonesia and Islam intensively, and his published works include The Clash of Ijtihad: Fundamentalist versus Liberal Muslims (ed. 2011), Agama dan Peradaban (Religion and Civilisations, 2002), Islam di Mata Orang Jepang (Islam in Japanese Eyes, 2014), Indonesia (2021) and others. He is currently serving as Vice-president of the International Society for Comparative Studies of Civilizations, and the Japanese Society of Comparative Studies of Civilizations.


Alighieri, Dante 2007 Divine Comedy. Translated by Rev. H. F. Cary. Boston: Standard Publications Inc.

BNPT 2022 Gelar Seminar Penguatan Kapasitas dan Kompetensi Personil TNI/Polri Serta Instansi Terkait. Online: (accessed July 31, 2022).

Counter Extremism Project 2022 Indonesia: Extremism and Terrorism. Online: (accessed September 15, 2022).

Cribb, Robert, and Collin Brown 1995 Modern Indonesia: A History Since 1945. London: Longman.

El-Said, Hamed, and Jane Harrigan 2013 Deradicalizing Violent Extremists. New York: Routledge.

Engineer, Asghar Ali 2003 On Developing Theology of Peace in Islam. New Delhi: Sterling Publishers Private Ltd.

Falah, Haris Amir 2019 Hijrah dari Radikal kepada Moderat. Jakarta: Melenia.

Freeman, Michael 2021 The Global Spread of Islamism and the Consequences for Terrorism. Lincoln, NE: Potomac Books. DOI:

Heim, S. Mark 2022 Monotheism and Forgiveness. New York: Cambridge University Press. DOI:

Huntington, Samuel P. 1996 The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Hwang, Julie Chernov 2018 Why Terrorists Quit. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

Indarti, Idam 2019 Pembentukkan PPKI dan Penetapan Pancasila dalam Sidang PPKI. Online: (accessed September 15, 2022).

Kato, Hisanori 2002 Agama dan Peradaban. Jakarta: PT Dian Rakyat.

Islamic Fundamentalists’Approach to Multiculturalism: The Case of Al-Mukmin School in Indonesia. Dialogue and Universalism XXIV(4): 171–86. DOI:

Majelis Ulama Indonesia 2011 Kritik Evaluasi dan Dekonstruksi Gerakan Deradikalisasi. Surakarta: Al-Maktab Publication.

Mosher, Lucinda, and David Marshall (eds) 2016 Sin, Forgiveness, and Reconciliation: Christian and Muslim Perspectives. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.

Rabasa, Angel, Stacie L. Pettyjohn, Jeremy J. Ghez and Christopher Boucek 2010 Deradicalizing Islamist Extremists. Santa Monica, CA: Rand Corporation.

Ramakrishna, Kumar 2015 Islamist Terrorism and Militancy in Indonesia. New York: Springer. DOI:

Ricklefs, Merle Calvin 1993 A History of Modern Indonesia Since c.1300. London: Macmillan. DOI:

Rudalku, Tim 2021 Nasihat Membawa Selamat. Online: (accessed September 15, 2022).

Shadid, Wasif, and Pieter S. van Koningsveld 2002 The Negative Image of Islam and Muslims in the West: Causes and Solutions. In Religious Freedom and the Neutrality of the State: The Position of Islam in the European Union, edited by Wasif Shadid and Pieter S. van Koningsveld, 174–96. Leuven: Peeters.

Santoso, Audrey 2018 Pertemuan 120 Eks Napi Teroris-Keluarga Korban Diadakan di Jakarta. Online: (accessed September 15, 2022).

Solahudin 2013 The Roots of Terrorism in Indonesia. Translated by Dave McRae. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. DOI:

YouTube 2017 Victims of the Bali Bombings Meet the Perpetrators. Online: (accessed September 15, 2022).

Zuhri, Saefudin 2017 Deradikalisasi Terorisme. Jakarta: Daulat Press.



How to Cite

Kato, H. (2023). De-Radicalization of Former Terrorists: The Case of Indonesia. Fieldwork in Religion, 18(1), 107–126.




Most read articles by the same author(s)