An interesting new poll has been released showing that approximately 18.7 million people in Indonesia support jihad and justify bomb attacks on Indonesia's tourist island of Bali as defending the faith, a survey released on Sunday showed. Indonesia is the world's fourth most populous country with 220 million people, 85 percent of which follow Islam.
"Jihad that has been understood partially and practiced with violence is justified by around one in 10 Indonesian Muslims," the Indonesian Survey Institute said in a statement. "They approved the bombings conducted ... in Bali with the excuse of defending Islam," it added, saying the percentage of such support "is very significant."
While the vast majority of Indonesia's Muslims are relatively moderate, there has been an increasingly vocal militant minority and political pressure for more laws that are in line with hardline Muslim teachings.
Bombings in Bali in October 2002 blamed on Jemaah Islamiah killed 202 people, mostly foreign tourists. Suicide blasts in Bali a year ago killed 20. The survey found one in five Indonesian Muslims (37.4 million people) more generally supported the aims of Jemaah Islamiah -- which backs the creation of an Islamic superstate linking Indonesia and Malaysia, and Muslim areas in the Philippines and Thailand.