This is disturbing, and it further bolsters the State Department findings that nearly 20% of Muslims are extremists.
JAKARTA (Reuters) – Nearly 20 percent of high school and university students in Indonesia support the establishment of a caliphate in the world’s largest Muslim-majority country over the current secular government, a new survey showed this week.
Indonesia has in recent years seen its long-standing reputation for religious tolerance come under scrutiny as hardline Islamic groups muscle their way into public and political life in the young democracy.
The vast majority of Indonesians practice a moderate form of Islam and the country has sizeable minorities of Hindus, Christians, and people who adhere to traditional beliefs. Religious diversity is enshrined in its constitution.
The survey by a Jakarta-based organization polled over 4,200 Muslim students, mostly in top schools and universities on Java island, home to over half the country’s population.
Nearly one in four students said they were, to varying degrees, ready to wage jihad to achieve a caliphate.
“This indicates that intolerant teachings have already entered top universities and high schools,” pollster Alvara, which carried out the survey, said in its report released Tuesday.
“The government and moderate Islamic organizations must start taking tangible steps to anticipate this and be present in student circles with language that is easy for them to understand,” the report added.