About a fourth of Indonesia’s college students support fighting for the implementation of an Islamic caliphate system in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation, a survey released Tuesday showed.
The Jakarta-based Alvara Research Center and Mata Air Foundation polled 1,800 students from 25 leading universities in Indonesia and 2,400 students from high schools across Java and other islands to determine if early detection of radicalism among campus populations could predict Indonesia’s future.
“We asked about the state ideology with a statement saying, ‘The Islamic state is worth fighting for to implement more consistent Islamic teachings’ and 23.5 percent of college students agree [with the statement], and 16.3 percent of high school students agree,” Alvara CEO Hasanuddin Ali told reporters in Jakarta on Tuesday.
“Intolerance has penetrated students’ life in schools and later grows stronger in campus life through religious studies,” Hasanuddin said. “If we can start handling it on campus, radicalism will be so much easier to be erradicated among professionals.”
Hasanuddin said the survey, conducted on Sept. 1 to Oct. 5, also revealed that 17.8 percent of university students and 18.3 percent of high school students preferred the concept of a caliphate ruled by a Muslim spiritual leader over Indonesia’s current republic.
The survey found that 18.6 percent of university students and 16.8 percent of high school students preferred Islam over the official Pancasila foundation of five principles as the state ideology. The university and high school students also preferred sharia law at the local level, by 21.9 percent and 19.6 percent, respectively.
Pancasila, the five-pillared official philosophy that underlies Indonesia’s foundation, espouses unity in diversity along with democracy and social justice.
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