Support for Sharia & Islamic Radicalism

Mar 17th, 2006, in News, by

The Indonesian Survey Institute has released the results of a survey that gauged the prevalance of support for ideas associated with hardline or fundamentalist Islam among Muslims and others in the country. Behind the moderate mask it seems there may be a harder faced complexion among Indonesian Muslims.

It can be viewed here, where there is a link to the pdf file, but it is all in Indonesian.

The survey was done with 1173 respondents in 33 provinces. Margin of error is given as about 3%. 87% of respondents were Muslim, 10% Christian, 1.5% Hindu, 0.5% Buddhist. 51% had only primary school or no education, 20.5% junior high school, 21.5% senior high school, 7.5% university level education.

The survey was done previously in 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, and now again between January 23 and 27, 2006. Some questions were new and therefore results cannot be compared to previous years.

Do you agree with these statements?:

Muslim women should not marry non-Muslim men.
Women – 67%.
Men – 65%.

Fornicators should be stoned.
Women – 52%.
Men – 45%.

Female children should only receive half the share of male children in inheritance.
Women – 54%.
Men – 54%.

A woman should not become president.
Women – 34%.
Men – 36%.

Bank interest should be illegal.
Women – 39%.
Men – 38%.

Men can have more than one wife.
Women – 24%.
Men – 56%.

Thieves should have their hands cut off.
Women – 39%.
Men – 37%.

Those statements which can be compared to previous years:

Thieves should have their hands cut off.
2001 – 29%, 2002 – 33%, 2004 – 39%, 2005 – 40%, 2006 – 38%.

Fornicators should be stoned.
2001 – 39%, 2005 – 55%, 2006 – 48%.

Men can have more than one wife.
2002 – 37%, 2004 – 39%, 2005 – 40%, 2006 – 40%.

A woman should not become president.
2001 – 6%, 2002 – 26%, 2004 – 34%, 2005 – 41%, 2006 – 34%.

Bank interest should be illegal.
2001 – 26%, 2004 – 49%, 2005 – 47%, 2006 – 38%.

Clearly there is considerable support for sharia based laws but generally this is not borne out at the ballot box. Islamist parties won 48% in 1955, 15% in 1999 and 20% in the 2004 elections and recent polling suggest they are not improving. Indonesians, like many other peoples, are hypocrites, sanctimonious hypocrites, especially when it comes to matters of personal morality and financial interest. Adultery is a national pasttime and the country would suffer severe depopulation if stoning were the official response to it. With these things in mind the results of this survey may need to taken with a pinch of salt in some cases, although it might only take one charismatic leader to whip up these latent Islamist feelings into a storm.

The second part of the survey deals with knowledge of and support for various Islamic social and political organisations.

The first figure relates to whether the respondents have ever heard of the organisation, the second for whether they support it.

Hizbut Tahir: 12%, 3.3%
Jaringan Islam Liberal (JIL): 14%, 2.5%
Shia: 21%, 3.2%
Lia Eden: 23%, 0.7%
Front Pembela Islam (FPI): 37%, 17%
Ahmadiyah: 42%, 3.9%
Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia (MMI): 65%, 11%
Majelis Ulama Indonesia (MUI): 72%, 59%
Muhammadiyah: 83%, 54%
Nahdatul Ulama (NU): 86%, 72%.

For some more information on some of these groups see

The next part asks:

Are suicide bombings carried out against the enemies of Islam justified?

Always – 0.5%, Often – 1.6%, Sometimes – 9.6%, Never – 74.3%.

Do you agree with these things?

The government should monitor Islamic boarding schools to prevent them from airing teachings which support violent acts against people, especially non-Muslims.

Agree and Strongly Agree – 55.4%.

Are the death sentences against people like Imam Samudera, Amrozi, and Muhlas fair?

Fair and Very Fair – 77.6%.

Imam Samudera, Amrozi, Muhlas and others believe that bombings like that done in Bali are justified in order to defend Islam.

Support and Very Much Support – 8.9%.

The attacks carried out by Noordin M Top, Dr Azhari, Imam Samudera, and Amrozi are permitted as forms of Islamic resistance against the west.

Agree and Strongly Agree – 8%.

Do you agree with the following statements?

Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaidah have committed a number of terrorist acts in various countries.

Agree and Strongly Agree – 43%.

Anti-American actions/measures by the Islamic community in Indonesia are justified.

Agree and Strongly Agree – 28%.

The American invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan are attacks on the entire Muslim world.

Agree and Strongly Agree – 29%.

Western culture has a negative effect on Muslims in Indonesia.

Agree and Strongly Agree – 62%.

Another recent poll by the LSI covered some of the same ground as the above, see

5 Comments on “Support for Sharia & Islamic Radicalism”

  1. Paul Dale says:

    Generally results not totally surprising. They display a bit of the disconnect or compartmentalization that Indonesians are so good at – as you pointed out with the adultery response! Also support for death penalty for HamBali, etc. 78% while only 43% can get themselves to believe Osama Bil Laden/Al Qaeda have committed terrorist acts.

    Also of note and rather suprising (from 6% to peak of 41%!)
    A woman should not become president. 2001 – 6%, 2002 – 26%, 2004 – 34%, 2005 – 41%, 2006 – 34%

    Can you comment on FPI 17% v Ahmadiyah 3%?


  2. David says:

    Hi Paul, Ahmadiyah are just a sect of Islam, heretics.

  3. Ulf says:

    No wonder why so many women may favour a radicalization of law. It is because they have no choice! If they dared to speak up their minds in the open, they would be the first ones to be stoned. Bring all those women to the West, where law and police can protect them and let´s see if they keep on supporting those oppinions.

    It is because Indonesians live in Indonesia why they do not see what Muslims do when they come to the West. Provided they are not a religiously-important population, they can go wherever they want without being judged for what they do. Muslims in the West are especially eager to visit gambling places, whorehouses, collect porn and all the stuff they would not do publically in their own countries for fear to reprisals by the religious castrati who rule their sects.

    The only heresy here is being so narrow-minded against the defenseless.

  4. PerempuanRantau says:

    I think this is more to the increasing feeling of not trusting the law-system in Indonesia.

  5. stevo says:

    Do you agree with these statements?:

    Muslim women should not marry non-Muslim men.
    Women – 67%.
    Men – 65%.

    Fornicators should be stoned.
    Women – 52%.
    Men – 45%.

    Well well well ………….. now who would have thought that. Gather the stones ladies, there are fornicators to put right with God.

Comment on “Support for Sharia & Islamic Radicalism”.

RSS feed

Copyright Indonesia Matters 2006-2023
Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Contact