Front Page Bullshit.Reuters
carries the following headline: One in 10 Indonesians back suicide bombings. The survey, based on 1,200 respondents across Indonesia's 33 provinces, showed 11.2 percent believed suicide bombings were justifiable on occasion while 0.5 percent said the method could always be justified to defend Islam from its enemies.The Jakarta Post's headline
is more subdued: Survey shows prevalent conservatism.
A survey conducted in late January by the Indonesian Survey Institute (LSI) found 40 percent of respondents approved of adulterers being stoned to death, 34 percent did not want to see another female president and 40 percent accepted polygamy.
On a thief's hands being chopped off, 38 percent of respondents said the punishment fitted the crime.
The survey involved 2,000 respondents from different backgrounds nationwide.
Hang on a sec. How many respondents, out of a population of 212 million - 220 million according to Reuters, were interviewed ~ 2,000 or 1,200? And were they interviewed outside a mosque shortly after Friday prayers?Imam Prasodjo, a sociologist of the University of Indonesia, disagreed with the parameters the survey used to measure radicalism, saying they were relative."Women oppose polygamy, all communities dislike mixed marriages and all human beings are against terror acts," he said.
Quite. Now let's have a looksee at the actual poll
There is a lot of mindboggingly tedious mumbo jumbo about steps of stratification based on the area of domicile: urban and rural, 33 provinces
and population proportion based on gender: 50% male and 50% female
Yeah, yeah, move on. Who sponsored this poll, and why?Terror Free Tomorrow
which is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization, whose mission is to understand and undermine the popular support base that empowers global terrorists,
that's who. Sen. John McCain, Tom Kean and Lee Hamilton (former 9/11 Commission Chairmen) lead its Advisory Board
and their interpretation of the poll is vastly different from the headlines offered by Reuters and the Jakarta Post.
According to TFT's press release
, despite widespread stories on Koran desecration, Guantanamo, even the Danish cartoons, favorable opinion toward the United States among Indonesians has actually increased from 34 percent a year ago to 44 percent at the end of January 2006, while unfavorable views declined from 54 percent to 41 percent.
These changes occurred in tandem with similar declines in support for Bin Laden, dropping from a high of 58 percent in 2003 to 12 percent today, and terrorist attacks, falling from 27 percent Indonesian support after 9/11, to 9 percent a year ago and a mere 2 percent now. Indeed, Indonesians with very unfavorable views of the United States have declined from 48 percent in 2003 to just 13 percent today.
The reason for the popularity of the USA is obvious. "It's stunning proof of the sustained power of positive and substantial assistance
(in tsunami hit Aceh) to radically change Muslim public opinion,
" according to Ken Ballen, president of Terror Free Tomorrow.
And there's me thinking that it was the promise of Sesame Street.
So why are we treated to this totally biased and distorted survey? Could it all be an excuse to give me and Indcoup
something to blog about ~ just like I did last year