- Title: Reformed ex-militants in Indonesia mark Independence Day
- Date: 17th August 2017
- Summary: CEREMONY MEMBERS PLAYING MUSIC
- Embargoed: 31st August 2017 10:18
- Keywords: Indonesia Independence Day flag raising ceremony former Islamist miltants
- Location: LAMONGAN, SIDOARJO, EAST JAVA PROVINCE, INDONESIA
- City: LAMONGAN, SIDOARJO, EAST JAVA PROVINCE, INDONESIA
- Country: Indonesia
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0026UJO5DX
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:PART AUDIO QUALITY AS INCOMING
Fifteen years since they were members of a radical Islamist group that killed 202 people on Indonesia's tourist island of Bali, Ali Fauzi and Sumarno are building peace instead of bombs.
The former devotees of the Jemaah Islamiah militant group are counselling ex-militants, educating their children, and employing their wives as teachers - part of Fauzi's Peace Circle initiative launched this year to combat extremism.
At the Lingkar Perdamaian school in Tenggulun village in East Java on Thursday (August 17), they celebrated Indonesia's Independence Day with a flag raising ceremony. Among those attending were 50 ex-combatants and militants. In front of the local police commander and military chief, with students and former combatants arranged in formation looking on, the Indonesian flag was raised by three ex-militants in crisp white uniforms as the national anthem played.
Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim-majority country, has grappled with a small but virulent minority of Islamist militants since it emerged from authoritarian rule in 1998. The government promotes deradicalisation - its self-styled "soft approach" to the problem - as a crucial weapon.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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