Indonesian Muslim youths keep faith amid reform
According to a recent survey by Germany’s Goethe-Institute, the bulk of youths in the world’s largest Muslim-majority country share remarkably traditional values about faith and family, despite a decade of social and political change since the fall of the Suharto dictatorship.
More than half of nearly 1,500 Indonesian Muslims aged 15 to 25 years polled from October to November last year supported the eye-for-an-eye Hudud punishments for crimes such as theft, adultery and apostasy.
Fully 66 percent agreed with capital punishment for murder and 68 percent favoured whipping for alcohol consumption.
Conservative beliefs were stronger in relation to family matters, with nine in 10 respondents disagreeing with interfaith marriage. Of those willing to marry non-Muslims, most expected their spouses to convert to Islam.
Nearly half identified themselves as Muslims first and Indonesians second, pointing to the weakness of the Indonesian state in an archipelago of 240 million people, 80 percent of whom are Muslims, spread over 17,000 islands.