More Than 7 Percent of Indonesian Muslims Support Radicalism: Survey

The article was originally posted on The Jakarta Globe.

Bogor, West Java. A survey released Monday (01/08) revealed 7.7 percent of Indonesian Muslims are prone to radicalism — a statistic equalling 11.5 million people.

The survey, conducted by the Wahid Foundation and Indonesia Survey Institute (LSI), was conducted March 30 to April 9 and involved 1,530 Muslim respondents across 34 provinces. The survey used a random sampling method and has a margin of error of 2.6 percent.

The results found 72 percent of Indonesian Muslims do not tolerate and refuse to participate in radical acts, such as attacking houses of worship belonging to other religions, protests or conducting “unauthorized sweeping” on venues not complying with Shariah law.

While 7.7 percent of respondents said they are willing to perform radical acts, 0.4 percent said they had participated in acts already, the survey found.

“The figure is worrying us. With 150 million Muslims in the country, it means 11.5 million people are prone to radical acts meanwhile 600,000 other have done such things. Although it is not a factual number, we must pay more attention to this,” Wahid Foundation research manager Aryo Adi Nugroho said during the press briefing in Bogor, West Java.

The survey also included recommendations to the government, lawmakers and local administrations.

Wahid Foundation director, Yenny Wahid, urged the government to develop learning modules on tolerance, peace and citizenship in more creative way in schools and universities.

The group also demanded the National Police probe and prosecute persons responsible for intolerant acts, including forms of hate speech and discrimination.

Yenny, the daughter of former president Abdurahman Wahid, said local government must stop supporting intolerant and radical groups by providing funding or use of government buildings.

However, the survey also showed irrefutable support of democracy and the 1945 Constitution.

The majority of respondents — 74.5 percent — said democracy is still the best option for Indonesia. When asked about the state ideology of Pancasila and the 1945 Constitution, more than 82 percent agreed the two remain the best foundation and ideology.

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