A youthful intolerance takes hold in Indonesia

By John McBeth | Asia Times

Radical Islam’s penetration of Indonesia’s universities has alarmed President Joko Widodo’s government, providing further evidence that evolving religious conservatism and intolerance is changing the character of society nearly two decades after the birth of democratic rule.

National Intelligence Agency (BIN) director Budi Gunawan recently released the results of a 2017 survey showing that 39% of university students in 15 of Indonesia’s 34 provinces reject democracy and the pluralistic concepts of Pancasila, the state ideology.

Despite an overwhelming majority favoring democracy in other polls, the survey also found that 24% of college students and more than 23% of high school pupils supported violent jihad as a means to transform the world’s largest Muslim nation into an Islamic state.