Most Muslims Think FPI Is Not Defending Islam: Survey


JANUARY 31, 2017

Jakarta. A survey published by an organization called Alvara Strategi Indonesia has claimed most Muslims in the country do not think that hardline groups FPI, or the Islamic Defenders Front, and HTI, or Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia, are acting in their interests or in the best interest of Islam.

The agency's chief executive, Hasanuddin Ali, said Alvara conducted the survey between late November and early December last year on 1,626 respondents between the age of 17 and 65 years old.

Speaking at the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) office in Central Jakarta on Monday (30/01), Hasanuddin said the results show how Indonesian Muslims perceive diversity in the country.

22.4 percent of the respondents in the survey agreed that FPI could be considered as a "hardline" organization. 9.5 percent said the same thing about HTI.

"17 percent of our respondents think FPI loves protest rallies, 4.8 percent think HTI also loves to protest," Hasanuddin said.

The survey also showed that only 17.8 percent of respondents think FPI is defending Islam.

"The respondents also think of FPI as an "agent provocateur" since it often conducts illegal raids. Meanwhile, only 4.8 percent of respondents think HTI reflects the Koran in its teachings," Hasanuddin added.

"Unlike [moderate] NU or Muhammadiyah, FPI and HTI are seen as supporters of the Islamic sharia law since their teachings are very rigid," he said.

The survey used a multistage random sampling method with a margin of error of approximately 2.47 percent.