Most Indonesians Oppose ISIS, HTI, Caliphate: Survey

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  • ANTARA/Agus Bebeng

    ANTARA/Agus Bebeng

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Jakarta-based pollster Saiful Mujani Research and Consulting (SMRC) founder Saiful Mujani said that most Indonesians oppose replacement of the national ideology of Pancasila and the 1945 Constitution with a caliphate.

    The concept of caliphate has been a major talking point following increased reports of the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) and the dissolution of mass organization Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI).

    Saiful said that the caliphate is a state based on the Qur’an, Hadith and opinions of certain ulemas.

    “As many as 79.3 percent respondents thought the NKRI [Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia] based on the Pancasila and 1945 Constitution is the best for Indonesian people,” Saiful told a press conference yesterday in Cikini, Jakarta.

    Meanwhile, 9.2 percent viewed the caliphate as the best ideology for Indonesia.

    On ISIS approval rating among Indonesians, Saiful said that 66.4 percent of respondents aware of and recognized ISIS presence. However, of those recognizing ISIS presence, only 46.7 percent aware that it aimed to establish a caliphate.

    Nevertheless, most who were aware of ISIS presence disagreed with the struggle the militant group. Over 80 percent opposed ISIS struggle and only 1.5 percent agreed and 1.2 percent strongly agreed. The remaining 7.8 percent did not respond.

    Almost all of those opposing ISIS wanted the government to impose a ban on the group in Indonesia. Only 7.5 percent disagreed with the ban.

    The people who recognized ISIS presence said that the latter poses a threat to the NKRI.

    “Some 89.3 percent agreed that ISIS is a threat,” he said.

    SMRC survey finds that over 50 percent Indonesians opposed ISIS or HTI’s plans to establish an Islamic state based on the caliphate. As many as 64.1 percent respondents opposed ISIS cause and 55.7 percent opposed HTI aspirations.

    People’s opposition to HTI is also significant. Curiously, only 28.2 percent respondents were aware of the HTI presence. “Compared to ISIS, HTI is not a familiar name in Indonesia,” he said.

    Some 78.4 percent of those being aware of the HTI and its aspirations on the caliphate agreed with the government’s plan to disband the organization. Only 13.6 disagreed and 8.0 percent did not respond.

    In his survey, Saiful said 99 percent respondents said they were proud of being an Indonesian. The patriotic people were more aware of ISIS presence and its cause compared to those who were less patriotic. “They opposed ISIS more,” he said.

    As for HTI, the patriotic stance is not a major factor in the level of support for HTI. The factors that could undermine the HTI are the commitment to upholding democracy and positive economic, political, legal and security conditions.

    “Deterioration of the factors has strengthened support for HTI,” he said.