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Jakarta Post

Editorial: Surveys on sharia

  • The Jakarta Post

  /   Fri, June 27 2008   /  10:06 am

If the United States is obsessed with gauging its popularity in the world through conducting regular opinion polls with simple questions like "Do you like or hate America?", Indonesia is becoming infatuated with surveys asking the question "Do you support sharia?" The danger with this kind of survey is that it is not only purely misleading, but because it does not provide a comprehensive picture of public sentiment on really complex issues, it could also lead to wrong responses and policies. In the case of the popularity of sharia, or Islamic law, in many surveys in the past the majority of Indonesians, nearly 90 percent of whom are Muslims, support the introduction of Islamic law in the country. The latest surveys were conducted by the Setara Institute for Democracy and Peace, an organization known to promote pluralism and equal rights for people of all...