Attitudes to America & Terrorism

Mar 6th, 2006, in News, by

A survey of Indonesian attitudes to America and Americans has been released showing a marked improvement in such attitudes in the wake of the tsunami relief efforts and despite the ongoing war in Iraq and other perceived problem issues.

Commissioned by Terror Free Tomorrow and carried out by the Lembaga Survei Indonesia, the Indonesian Survey Institute, the poll was done between January 23-28 2006. In choosing those to be surveyed the LSI stuck closely to the official figures regarding division of the population by age, religion, education, etc. The sample consisted of 1,177 randomly selected respondents drawn from both rural (60%) and urban (40%) people in all provinces of the country in correct proportion.

The LSI had carried out the same survey once in 2003 and again in 2005. The most notable trends and figures include:

Attacks on civilians justified?
27% yes in 2003, 9% in 2005, 2% in 2006.

Confidence in Osama Bin Laden?
58%, 23%, 12%

Support American war on terrorism?
23%, 40%, 35%

Favourable opinion of the USA?
15%, 34%, 44%

Unfavourable opinion of the USA?
83%, 54%, 41%

Other questions asked relate to attitudes to American assistance in the tsunami recovery efforts.

Attitudes in Indonesia are then contrasted with those in Pakistan with the Pakistanis not surprisingly coming out as more hostile to America and favourable towards Bin Laden although not by huge margins.

What is most interesting is looking at the answers to the questions when respondents are broken down into groups, whether sex, income level, religion, ethnicity, etc.

If we exclude non-Muslim respondents, who accounted for 12.4% of those questioned, we can make some generalisations about specifically Muslim attitudes. Supporters of NU, or Nahdatul Ulama, are more anti-west than supporters of Muhammadiyah, which is a little surprising perhaps, but both groups hostility to the west is dwarfed by those classified as belonging to “other Islamic organisations”.

Young people, those aged under 29, also tend to be more favourable to Bin Laden while at the same time show the highest regard for America. On some of the questions those who replied “Don’t know” are in the 40-50% range and this may raise some suspicions.

The Indonesianist John Macdougall has raised doubts about the study claiming that, more or less, the LSI are simply pleasing their American paymasters and did not ask the right questions although this may be the sour grapes of a Bush loather.

6 Comments on “Attitudes to America & Terrorism”

  1. Jimmy Asmara says:

    Many Indonesian Christians tend to support America and their policy on terrorism. These agents and sleeping suppporters of the Jewish regime know that the weakness of the Indonesian government is their economic and social malaise.
    They knew that corruption is the only cure to win the hearts of their government. In so doing the Moslem goverrnment just lapsed in their sleep in total blindness. Behold ! the next crater will open their jaws to all who failed in their duties to uphold the rights of their Islamic faith.

  2. Ali says:


  3. Tomaculum says:

    So Jimmy Asmara,
    kill all of the Indonesian Christians?
    Supporters of the Jewish regime? Wow!!!

  4. Andrew says:

    Jimmy Asmara, do me a favor: think before you write.

  5. Tomaculum says:

    Andrew, you hopeless optimist!

  6. Dragonwall says:

    How about giving SBY 1 million dollars and ask him to close one eye.. How naive to say they sleep in total blindness. It could be acceptable if you were to say the corruptions were rampant and is beyond apprehension that they were at lost not knowing how to rectify the economic and political situation of Indonesia.
    Many Muslim were sympathetic towards their religion that they were easily coerced into agreeing what the sooth sayer (clerics) says to them. Thus simple mind were easily manipulated and unknowingly supported terror only to wake up in their dreams that they had supported a wrong cause.
    Osama bin Laden cause terrors throughout the world, what does he gain? Reputation? Acknowledgements? No it’s money.. and is outright haram money.. Saddam Hussein claimed many times he was for the people but look at his childrens, money, women, cars, booze etc.. It doesn’t surpirse me if Osama is having a Chateau Lafitte in the cave.

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