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July 31, 2006

40 % of the Moderate Mussulmen of Indonesia ready to wage war for their peacefull faith…

Filed under: Asia, Islam — limewoody @ 7:50 am

Jakarta, 28 July (AKI) – Up to 1.3 percent of Indonesian Muslims nationwide admit using violence against people or objects they consider contradictory to their beliefs, a survey found, with more than 40 percent ready to wage war for their faith. The survey spanned 1,200 Muslims in 30 of the country’s 33 provinces. Acts of violence in the survey on religion and violence by the Center for Islamic and Social Studies (PPIM) ranged from 0.1 percent of respondents admitting their involvement in demolishing or arson of churches constructed without official permits, to 1.3 percent who committed “intimidation” against those they considered had blasphemed Islam.

“The percentage looks very small but it is very high in its real figure when you note that 85 percent, or 200 million, of the country’s 230 million population are Muslims,” PPIM researcher Jajat Burhanudin said Thursday during the release of the results.

However, other scholars said violence was traditionally widespread in local cultures, and it was unfair to blame Islam for its prevalence.

The survey, conducted from 2001 to March 2006, found 43.5 percent of respondents were ready to wage war on threatening non-Muslim groups, 40 percent would use violence against those blaspheming Islam and 14.7 percent would tear down churches without official permits.

“This condition has helped terrorists easily recruit new comrades and makes the country a fertile ground for sectarian radicalism,” Jajat said.

He added that a simultaneous study on the reasons for the results found Islamic teaching and Islamism made the most significant contributions to violent behavior, both in the domestic and public spheres.

“The more Muslims give their support for certain Islamic teachings legitimizing the use of violence, the more violence will happen.”

He noted that between 30 percent and 58 percent approved of amputation of the left hand for thieves and the stoning to death of rapists, as well as other tenets of sharia law, and opposed the election of non-Muslims for president.

Simplistic understanding of Islamic teachings and the introduction of so-called “yellow books”, detailing Islamic law and regulations, in Islamic boarding schools contributed to the emergence of hard-line groups, the issuance of sharia bylaws and sowed hostility toward non-Muslims, he said.

“To end this, the government must take strategic steps to campaign for pluralism among the people and enforce the law to ensure legal certainty.”

But Islamic scholar Azyumardi Azra said the roots of the violence could not be blamed entirely on Islam, but also on the vengeful nature of some local cultures and common social and political problems, such as poverty, unemployment and political instability.

“The country’s self-image of kindness, tolerance and hospitality must be questioned because local cultures are very close to violence,” he said.

Although there has been increasing unrest since the end of authoritarian rule in 1998 and the dawning of the reform era, he said there were numerous ethnic conflicts since the 1950s.

Azyumardi, also rector of Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University in Ciputat, Tangerang, suggested the reformulation of all Islamic teachings that could be construed as promoting violence and the development of democracy through a campaign for pluralism and tolerance.

“Besides, the country is in dire need of a strong government to create political stability and good governance and ensure the rule of law, while the development of democracy should not end with the general elections and local elections,”

He warned that religious radicalism would become a dangerous threat unless good governance was created, laws were enforced and old religious doctrines were reformulated
Jakarta, 28 July (AKI) – Up to 1.3 percent of Indonesian Muslims nationwide admit using violence against people or objects they consider contradictory to their beliefs, a survey found, with more than 40 percent ready to wage war for their faith. The survey spanned 1,200 Muslims in 30 of the country’s 33 provinces. Acts of violence in the survey on religion and violence by the Center for Islamic and Social Studies (PPIM) ranged from 0.1 percent of respondents admitting their involvement in demolishing or arson of churches constructed without official permits, to 1.3 percent who committed “intimidation” against those they considered had blasphemed Islam.

“The percentage looks very small but it is very high in its real figure when you note that 85 percent, or 200 million, of the country’s 230 million population are Muslims,” PPIM researcher Jajat Burhanudin said Thursday during the release of the results.

However, other scholars said violence was traditionally widespread in local cultures, and it was unfair to blame Islam for its prevalence.

The survey, conducted from 2001 to March 2006, found 43.5 percent of respondents were ready to wage war on threatening non-Muslim groups, 40 percent would use violence against those blaspheming Islam and 14.7 percent would tear down churches without official permits.

“This condition has helped terrorists easily recruit new comrades and makes the country a fertile ground for sectarian radicalism,” Jajat said.

He added that a simultaneous study on the reasons for the results found Islamic teaching and Islamism made the most significant contributions to violent behavior, both in the domestic and public spheres.

“The more Muslims give their support for certain Islamic teachings legitimizing the use of violence, the more violence will happen.”

He noted that between 30 percent and 58 percent approved of amputation of the left hand for thieves and the stoning to death of rapists, as well as other tenets of sharia law, and opposed the election of non-Muslims for president.

Simplistic understanding of Islamic teachings and the introduction of so-called “yellow books”, detailing Islamic law and regulations, in Islamic boarding schools contributed to the emergence of hard-line groups, the issuance of sharia bylaws and sowed hostility toward non-Muslims, he said.

“To end this, the government must take strategic steps to campaign for pluralism among the people and enforce the law to ensure legal certainty.”

But Islamic scholar Azyumardi Azra said the roots of the violence could not be blamed entirely on Islam, but also on the vengeful nature of some local cultures and common social and political problems, such as poverty, unemployment and political instability.

“The country’s self-image of kindness, tolerance and hospitality must be questioned because local cultures are very close to violence,” he said.

Although there has been increasing unrest since the end of authoritarian rule in 1998 and the dawning of the reform era, he said there were numerous ethnic conflicts since the 1950s.

Azyumardi, also rector of Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University in Ciputat, Tangerang, suggested the reformulation of all Islamic teachings that could be construed as promoting violence and the development of democracy through a campaign for pluralism and tolerance.

“Besides, the country is in dire need of a strong government to create political stability and good governance and ensure the rule of law, while the development of democracy should not end with the general elections and local elections,”

He warned that religious radicalism would become a dangerous threat unless good governance was created, laws were enforced and old religious doctrines were reformulated

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