Study Finds Majority Of People Condemning Ahok’s ‘Blasphemy’ Not Well Informed

Few Indonesian people who believe that Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama has committed blasphemy have a clear understanding of the context of his speech during which he quoted a Quranic verse, a survey has found.

The survey commissioned by Jakarta-based pollster Saiful Mujani Research and Consulting (SMRC) revealed on Thursday that 45.2 percent of respondents regarded Ahok’s remarks during his conversation with local residents in Thousand Islands regency on Sept.27, in which he cited Surah al-Maidah, as blasphemous.

However, when they were asked about the governor’s remarks, only 11.5 percent of the respondents said they clearly understood what Ahok had said.

The study further found that only 12.9 percent of the public had seen the video of Ahok’s speech uploaded on the Internet.

“As the study found that only a very few people had actually watched the video [of Ahok’s statement], much of the blasphemy-related negative sentiment about Ahok is baseless,” SMRC founder Saiful Mujani told a discussion on Thursday.

SMRC surveyed 1,220 respondents aged 17 years and above in its study conducted from Nov. 22 through 28 in response to the massive anti-Ahok demonstration organized by Islamic organizations, including the Islam Defenders Front (FPI), on Nov. 4. The survey was conducted through direct interviews with respondents in various areas across the country.


Source: The Jakarta Post

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