On 12 October 2002 Bali island was bombed by a group of Indonesian suicide bombers. The incident took 202 lives, mostly foreigners and of course, Indonesians too. Since that, Indonesia experienced a number of religiously motivated bombings targeting international and national asset and embassies. In 2003, I had the opportunity to interview first Bali bombers. They are: Imam Samudra, Ali Gufron a.k.a Muklas, Amrozy and Ali Imron. I also met Mubarok a.k.a Fadlullah Hasan a.k.a Utomo Pamungkas in Kerobokan prison, Bali. In 2004, I was introduced to Noor Huda Ismail, a journalist at the Washington Post and an alumni of Al Mukmin Ngruki Islamic Boarding School (pesantren) on his duty covering the Bali bombing incident.
Some perpetrators of the bombing were graduated from Ngruki Islamic boarding school, such as Ali Gufron, Ali Imron and Mubarok. In fact, Nur Hooda Ismail shared a room with Mubarok in their early years in pesantren since Mubarok was the chairperson of their room in the pesantren. However, Noor Huda Ismail and Mubarok chose different path of life and different practice of jihad.
In 2007, Noor Huda Ismail introduced me to Ali Imron and Mubarok’s families. He also invited me to meet Bali bombing victims, among other, the family of Haji Maksum, a Muslim activist in Denpasar, Bali. His son in law, Imawan Sarjono was killed during the bombing and left the wife, Eka Laskmi with their two sons, Alif and Aldi. During this meeting, I found many interesting stories, both from perpetrators’ families as well as victims’ families. They believe in the same religion, that’s Islam, they believe in the same Holy Quran, they pray with same manner and ways, but in Jihad, they do have different opinion.
Indonesia has been an important site for terrorism and terrorism debate. The film “Prison and Paradise” would like to portray this issue closely. I would like to show the problem arising from Jihadis and their families. I would like also to address the discourse on terrorism, jihad, Islam political movement, war on terror agenda, and how this discourse shapes the future of the children, both of perpetrators’ as well as victims.