Political vs Cultural Differences

Feb 19th, 2007, in Society, by

Indonesians are dubious as to whether the differences between Islam and the West can be resolved.

A Globescan poll conducted between 3rd November 2006 and 16th January 2007 for the BBC asked 28,389 people in 27 countries whether tensions between Islam and the West arise from ordinary political disputes and interests or from fundamental religious and cultural differences.

The questions, and the results for Indonesia (1000 people, 17+, December 13th-24th 2006, face to face, Bandung, Jakarta, Medan, Semarang, and Surabaya globescan):

Thinking about the tensions between Islam and the West – do you think they arise more from differences of religion and culture or from conflicts about political power and interests?

  • Conflicts about political power and interests – 56%
  • Differences of religion and culture – 35%

Would you say that the current global tensions between Islam and the West are caused more by…….

  • Intolerant minorities on both sides – 23%
  • An intolerant Muslim minority – 28%
  • An intolerant Western minority – 4%
  • Fundamental differences between the two cultures – 35%

Thinking about the relationship between Muslim and Western cultures do you think that violent conflict is inevitable or that it is possible to find common ground?

  • Possible to find common ground – 40%
  • Violent conflict is inevitable – 51%

For the last question Indonesia was the only country of the 27 where a majority believed continual fighting was inevitable between the two sides, although the results for the first question may contradict this. globescan

13 Comments on “Political vs Cultural Differences”

  1. Tomaculum says:

    Fear, not-understanding, prejudices????
    Like: Islam is jihad.
    Or: Western is immorality (read free sex).

  2. Rockstar says:

    Or: the root of terrorism is CIA. lol

  3. Mohammed Khafi says:

    Having travelled and worked widely in both Western and Islamic cultures, I have to say that most of the political and religious differences are exaggerated in this country by our political and religious leaders. They seem to only be interested in dividing the community rather than uniting it. It would seem that they are still influenced by the Dutch who used this policy during the colonial years to strengthen their ability to control, however they appear to be using it to garner support for themselves to continue their self enrichment rather than for any benefit of the people of Indonesia.


  4. Colson says:

    Well, let’s be optimistic. They are in Italy, Canada and great Britain for instance. Over 75% in these countries believes in a peaceful outcome.

  5. Cukurungan says:

    It seem the big percentage doesn’t mean anything because the most peace lovers is a passive citizens they do nothing but expecting a peace whereas the hatred spreader is proactively promoting the hatred teaching so, yes there will a bridge for the culture different but it is only a ridiculous bridge built by amateur.

    Have a nice dreams for peace lover.

  6. Mohammed Khafi says:

    English philosopher Edmund Burke said,

    ‘The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.’

  7. Cukurungan says:

    Organized Evil always win against un-organized good.

  8. Colson says:

    Edmund Burke was a conservative, even reactionary, philosopher. He is in high esteem with the neocons. His philosophy concerning human nature is rather gloomy. But one should be careful not to apply his way of thinking regardless of the situation.

    May be we should look for an alternative for the tough approach towards radicalism. Because usually wars don’t start overnight. It takes two sides that both respond agressively to each others actions. At first these actions may seems rather harmless but they may end up in bloodshed. It’s the way of self fulfilling prophecies; “they” can not be trusted, “we” will be vinctims unless we take care of them. So we take action and that will provoke tougher action from “them”. Etcetera.

    Burke may not be the answer.

  9. Mohammed Khafi says:

    Regardless of Burkes philosophy as a whole, this particular quote has been proven true too many times in the past, even in recent history. For whatever reasons ( fear, laziness, ignorance etc.), when the moderate majority are silent, the fanatical minority have free reign. These circumstance can lead to racial, cultural and religious genocide.


  10. Cukurungan says:

    If Burke is not the answer so the answer will be “aku sedang ingin bercinta” and “inul daranista”.

  11. Colson says:

    Just that: peace.

    I wanted to point out that if “liberals” confront the “radicals” vice versa, the final result may be war. I prefer the “moderates” on both sides to take care (rational, by peaceful means, by reasoning) of “their” own radicals.

  12. Mohammed Khafi says:


    Let us hope that is the outcome. Unfortunately with the Islamic radicals having such loud voices and influence even though they are a minority, and the majority Islamic moderates, either too lazy, intimidated, or ignorant to stand up and be counted, as the proponents on one side, and George Bush on the other, do you think the moderates will have any chance of dialogue?


  13. pj_bali says:

    Neville Chamberlain tried to be a nice guy by appeasing Hitlers’ ambitions in the Sudetenland. Look where that got him! Evil needs to be confronted. MK hits the nail on the head – Burke’s remarks are timeless in this context. The problem with unchecked radicals (of any persuasion) is that they tend to polarize the rest of us into one camp or another. Better to stop them now so as to allow the rest of us to sit up on the fence.

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