Widely known to the world for its moderate and tolerant Islam, Indonesia is unfortunately known for its religious terrorism-related bomb attacks. The last attack took place in front of the Makassar Cathedral Catholic church last March. While such an act of terrorism is not unique to Indonesia, this incident requires immediate attention, particularly in Southeast Asia, where Muslims form most of its population.
Islam in Southeast Asia is in fact known for its easy-going and tolerant views. On one occasion, the late PM Lee Kuan Yew has ever reaffirmed Islam in ASEAN is Islam by commerce, not by swords. However, as Southeast Asian Muslims become part of the global society, religious extremism can now be more easily identified in the region. Indeed, it cannot be separated from the intense reciprocal relation between them and other Muslims worldwide, particularly in Middle East and North Africa.