TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Her demeanor is calm. She avoids making eye contact with men. She speaks emphatically when talking about jihad and amaliyah (sacrifice). The Cirebon, West Java native only laughed when she spoke of her husband, Muhammad Nur Solihin, who she says is funny.
Detained at the police Mobile Brigade headquarters at Kelapa Dua in Depok, West Java, Dian and Nur Solihin met with Wayan Agus Purnomo and Anton Aprianto from Tempo at a place on the outskirts of Jakarta last week. The officials accompanying them concealed Tempo's identity from the pair. They were only informed about the reporters' identities at the end of meeting. Dian and her husband said that they had no objection to the interview being published.
How did you get involved in all this?
I was seeking the blessing of God, wanting to receive virtue from Him.
What motivated you?
First, it was because we were curious. Why does there have to be killing, why must hands be cut off? It all looks so hardline. I was strongly against this and debated with the account of a jihadi on Facebook. I was against them for months. They said: "Sister, if you are raped, your family (member) is raped, what would you do? You would be mad, right?" I agreed.
Then, what would you do?
Of course I would retaliate. In Islam, we are one body. If a fellow believer is oppressed, how do we feel? Of course there is pain. This is where I became interested. There is something true in that. But (I asked), in the media it is said that this and that is not allowed? They said, "Sister, what media are you looking at? Islamic media, or secular media?"
Can you give an example of a jihadi account?
Ulama Binti Gulam. They said she is in Syria. She is a woman who often explains many things. If I didn't understand something, she would explain it.
Even though you didn't know who was behind these accounts?
That wasn't the case. If they were spies, they would be found out eventually. We would know if it's real or not from their comments. To make sure, I asked around.
How long have you followed these jihadi accounts?
Over the past year.
When did you become interested in going deeper into Islamic teachings?
Since I worked in Taiwan. There, cellphones can be used freely. During breaks working at a home for the elderly, I would search for other information. At that time I was not thinking about jihad. I was thinking that the laws made by man should be replaced by the law as found in the Qur'an.
Why did you search for religious information in the social media?
It is difficult to do so in the real world. People are more closed, they might think that you are a spy. They are also afraid of being detected, so it's safer on the social media. I was wondering why they had to kill and carry out bombing. Was there no other way?
Then came your intention to carry out amaliyah?
Returning from Taiwan (March this year), there was no such intention. However, after getting deeper into it, the intention grew. There was a way in and, God willing, I was ready. (*)
Read the full interview in this week's edition of Tempo English Magazine