Indonesians reject idea of Islamic caliphate

Overwhelming majority back country's secular constitution
Indonesians reject idea of Islamic caliphate

Indonesian Muslims pray during the start of the holy month of Ramadan on May 26 at the Al Akbar mosque in Surabaya. The vast majority of Muslims reject the idea of establishing an Islamic caliphate, according to a recent poll. (Photo by Juni Kriswanto/AFP)

June 6, 2017
The vast majority of Indonesians are opposed to the idea of establishing an Islamic caliphate as it would threaten national unity, according to a survey conducted by Jakarta-based pollster Saiful Mujani Research and Consulting.

Some 79.3 percent of 1,500 respondents nationwide rejected the idea of establishing an Islamic state proposed by several extremist organizations such as Hizbuth Tahrir Indonesia, according to the poll released June 4.

The government is currently seeking court approval to disband the hard-line pro-Islamic group.

The survey, conducted from May 14-20 comes amid what many observers believe is growing religious intolerance in the secular country. However it also showed that 9.2 percent of respondents wanted an Islamic caliphate, while, about 11percent did not express an opinion.

Hargo Mandirahardjo, chairman of the Association of Catholic Graduates and Intellectuals in Indonesia, said the poll affirmed that many Indonesian people had faith in the country's secular constitution.

"We cannot bargain, we just need to maintain and protect it," he told

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