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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs     7 October  2011                    

Radicalisim declining in Indonesia

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Radicalism in Indonesia is wavering, with the national radicalism index showing a slight decline from 24.7 last year down to 20 this year, a survey shows.

“[Radicalism] has declined, but the potential for it remains wide open,” Dhyah Madya Ruth, the executive director of Lazuardi Birru, the NGO that conducted the survey, said in Jakarta on Wednesday.

Dhyah added that the percentage of those willing or having been involved in what Lazuardi defines as acts of radicalism dropped from 13.1 percent last year to 9.2 percent this year.

“Those who have been really involved in extreme actions account for 4 percent [of the total respondents]. They’ve been involved in, among others, raids on brothels, attacks on places of worship [of people of other faiths] and or rallies against groups considered enemies of Islam.

“A belief that those acts are worthy of rewards and blessings [from God] is the more important factor than material compensation. But only a few really adopt these beliefs,” Dhyah said while presenting the survey results, as quoted by

However, more people were indirectly involved in radical activities, with 25 percent of respondents saying they had given financial contributions to such activities and 17.8 percent saying they had persuaded others to tend to radical beliefs.

Nevertheless, the figures are again smaller than the 37.4 percent and 18.8 percent recorded last year.

The survey involved 1,240 respondents in nine provinces, 86.3 percent of whom were Muslim, 11.1 percent Christian and 2.6 percent followers of other religion. Lazuardi says its margin for error is 2.8 percent and it is 95 percent confident in the accuracy of its findings.

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