Can The Book, “Temanku, Teroris? (My Friend, A Terrorist?)”, Remove The Stigma Of Terrorism?

JAKARTA -Thursday, 16th July 2010, at the Gramedia Grand Indonesia, Jakarta, a book called “Temanku, Teroris?” (My Friend, A Terrorist?), was launched and reviewed. The event was guided by Tina Talisa, a presenter of TVOne, also presented was a former head of State Intelligence Agency (BIN) AM Hendropriyono, as the reviewer of the book. As delivered by the author, Noor Hudai Ismail, it was expected that this book would become a bridge and arena for “silaturrohim” for various parties who have different points of view. But, can this book erase the stigma of terrorism which is always directed at Islam and the Muslims?

Two Students Of Ngruki On Different Paths

The story in this 386-pages book revolves around the life journey of two santri (students) from Pondok Pesantren (Islamic Boarding School) of Al Mukmin Ngruki, Central Java. The first santri is Noor Huda, who received a scholarship at Saint Andrews University Scotland and at one time became a journalist for the Washington Post. The second santri is a senior and at the same time a friend of Noor Huda, Fadlullah Hasan alias Mubarok who became the Mujahideen of Afganistan and was involved in the Bali Bombing I.

On page 2 Mobarok, alias Utomo Pamungkas, alias Fadlullah Hasan expressed his testimony:

“I am Utomo Pamungkas alias Fadlullah Hasan alias Mubarok alias Amin. A veteran of the Afghan war, an instructor in the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in Mindanao, Philippines, linked with the Batal bombing attack in 2000 in Mojokerto, also linked with the bombing attack on the house of the ambassador of Philippines in 2001, as well as the Bali Bombing I on 12th October 2002.

I was part of an underground movement organization the Jamaah Islamiyah. I am Insha Allah, upholding the Islamic principles of life. Jihad is the path of my struggle, to die shaheed is my goal. I am tied to the baiat ‘baya’tuka ‘ala al-sam’i wa al-tha’ah fi al-‘usri wa al-yusri’: ‘to hear and obey in the state of ease or hardship, as well as obedient to the leader’.

Pesantren Al-Mukmin Ngruki was the womb that contained me. While Afghanistan was the midwife who helped with my birth; our birth, the children who would grow up as troops of fighters in the path of Allah.

I narrate the following stories as a testimony of our struggle. This testimony represents the journey of my jihad. May Allah SWT be pleased with the struggle of the Mujahideen in the fight against falsehood and in avoiding His prohibitions, solely for the glory of the Allah Taala.”

Meanwhile, in his preface, Noor Huda explains his purpose of writing the book:

With good intentions, it is time for me to convey the objective of writing this book, which is no other than only to glorify Allah Ta’ala. Presumably Allah is pleased with the path I am going, from the beginning to the end. I dedicate this book to all the orphaned children around the world. The spirit of my writing in this book is dedicated to the orphaned children who were born out of the suicide bombs. May Allah always accompany and provide protection to them. I also hope that by reading this book the readers can understand that Pondok Pesantren Ngruki surely teaches jihad, but it does not mean terrorism; our pondok teaches to be critical, it doesn’t mean being anarchists.

From here we are able to see that the author, Noor Huda, considers the steps and actions of jihad taken by his friend, Mubarok alias Fadlullah Hasan, as confused and misguided. Noor Huda, who is also active in the Yayasan Prasasti Perdamaian (Foundation of Peace Messages), the institution that focuses on putting back former prisoners of terrorism into the community, considers those errors as the main weakness of the students who fall into jihad and accept all the teachings without trying to criticize. Noor Huda said:

Whereas, in Al-Quran, there are commands to verify any news that we receive.

In the epilogue of the book, the author re-affirmed;

Hopefully there will be no more orphans who are born out of terror acts done in the name of certain beliefs. I am closing off the night with prayers for them. Hoefully they, the orphans who were born out of suicide bombs, either the real orphans or orphans in a social way, are not holding grudges in themselves and are spreading love in its place. Because they are the ones who would who will continue our dreams, the adult. Their world. Hopefully.

Who Are The Real Terrorists?

That question did pop out and was asked at the review of the book “Temanku, Teroris?”

Because, indeed the true meaning and definition of terrorism itself is still not clear and became a stigma used by the western countries, especially America, to be labeled on Islam and the Muslims.

Imam Samudra alias Abdul Aziz, the Bali Bombing I convict in his memoirs which was also made into a book by the Jazera publisher with the title “Aku Melawan Teroris” (I Am Fighting Terrorists), strongly implied that he is a Mujahid, not terrorist. In fact, he was the one who is fighting the ‘terrorists’ i.e. America and her allies!

Paridah Abas, wife of Sheikh Mukhlas alias Ali Ghufron also a convict of Bali Bombing I, wrote the story of her life which was also made into a book with the title “Orang Bilang Ayahku Teroris” (People Say My Father Is A Terrorist). It is possible that there will emerge in the near future similar books with the similar titles such as “Kakakku Bukan Teroris” (My Brother Is Not A Terrorist), “Saya Jurnalis Bukan Teroris” (I Am A Journalist Not Terrorist), and so on. The point is the rejection of the stigma of terrorism which all these while has been pinned on Islam and the Muslims.

So this is a matter of perspective about terrorism. Even if there is a term ‘terrorism’ in Islam, it is a praiseworthy terrorism (commanded) not deplorable terrorism (the forbidden by Allah SWT). In the question and answer session, QS Al Anfal verse 60 was presented as the legal basis of the Mujahideen for their actions.

If Noor Huda, the author of the book, had explained clearly about the obvious impacts of the acts of terrorism i.e. the emergence of orphaned children from the victims, as well as from the actors of terrorism, and said:

Who would want to care for these orphaned children?

Then, a similar question should also be asked to him and to all the human beings on this earth:

Who would want to care for the orphaned children in Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestina, Chechnya, Kashmir, Somalia, Moro, Pattani, Ambon, Poso?

The fact is that, countries like America and its allies especially Israel, which today are creating and producing the most orphaned children from amongst the Muslimeen in Islamic countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestina, Chechnya, Kashmir, Somalia, Moro, Patanni, Ambon, Poso and others. How come, if it was them i.e. America and its allies, no one is saying that they are terrorists? How come nobody condemns them? This is surely unfair!

So, this is really all about the problem of different perceptions. The perceptions that are built upon a conviction of life which ultimately determine the difference in someone’s life path, as in the book “Temanku, Teroris?” written by Noor Huda.

Mubarok, alias Fadlullah Hasan, alias Utomo Pamungkas, who originated from the Pondok Pesantren Ngruki, has chosen the path of his life and he is proud of it and ready to assume all the risks, in this world and the next.

Meanwhile from the same madrassa, in fact in the same room, Noor Huda Ismail has also chosen the path of his life and he is proud of it and ready to assume all the risks, in this world and the next.

Therefore, this works of Noor Huda in the form a book “Temanku, Teroris?” is still unable or cannot erase the stigma of terrorism which was systematically created for the Muslims by America and its allies, as well as their pleasers!

Wallahu’alam bis sowab!

(M Fachry/

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