According to Setara Institute, most Indonesians condemn the attack on Ahmadiyah in Cikeusik, Banten, West Java, which occurred earlier this year.
“As many as 82.3 percent of the respondents said they disapproved the attack, 7.9 were in favor, while 9.8 did not give a statement,” Setara Institute researcher Ismail Hasani told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.
The research on people’s perception of Ahmadiyah was conducted in 47 regencies of 10 provinces in the country from July 10 to 25. It comprised 3,000 respondents from various religions, but 90 percent were Muslims
Ismail said the research also found out that 68.2 respondents regarded Ahmadiyah as fellow citizens, 11.9 percent did not regard them as fellow citizens. Twenty percent did not respond.
“The results bring us a hope that tolerance still exists in this country,” he said.
Yet, he said the research also found that more than 40 percent of respondents were in favor of a joint ministerial decree (SKB) and the Indonesian Ulema Councils (MUI) edict declaring Ahmadiyah be disbanded because it was heretic and blasphemous.
The joint decree was issued by the religious affairs and home ministers, and the attorney general in 2008 in efforts to regulate Ahmadiyah followers’ religious practice.
Ismail said people’s inter-religious tolerance in this country was at a good level, “But they can hardly accept others of the same religion, because of a slight variation in beliefs.”
On February 6, Ahmadiyah followers were set upon by angered residents who objected to their beliefs, which they say go against “pure” Islam.
Hundreds of people attacked 21 Ahmadis, killing three of them and injuring at least five, while ransacking and setting a house belonging to Ahmadis on fire.
Copyright © 2008 The Jakarta Post – PT Bina Media Tenggara. All Rights Reserved