As Pancasila loses support, more and more Indonesians drawn to caliphate

More and more soldiers disapprove of the pluralist philosophy of Indonesia’s founding fathers. For the country’s Defence Minister, "It won’t be too much of a problem today, but [it might be] in the next 20-30 years.” Meanwhile, 23.4 per cent of university students back jihad to establish an Islamic state.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – Indonesia is the world’s most populous Muslim country. Pancasila, the pluralist doctrine on which it is based, is being gradually eroded. This is partly the result of the growth of ideologies that promote the caliphate, a trend that is attracting more and more Indonesians, this according to Indonesian Defence Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu.

Pancasila (effigy pictured) “is now starting to get corroded,” Ryamizard said at an event held today at the headquarters of the Armed Forces (TNI) in East Jakarta. "It won’t be too much of a problem today, but [it might be] in the next 20-30 years. If we let this happen, the leaders of tomorrow might still be a college student now, but if the person becomes a president, army commander, or police chief, and they adopt the caliphate, it would be the end of this nation.”

A ministry study found that a significant segments of Indonesian society are questioning Pancasila. About 23.4 per cent of university students agree with the idea of jihad to establish an Islamic state or caliphate. About 23.3 per cent of school students also say they prefer the latter.

The caliphate draws support across the board: private sector, civil service, state-owned enterprises. Indeed, the Defence Ministry study found that 9.1 per cent of respondents do not agree with the ideology of Pancasila.

“Among soldiers, about 3 per cent disapprove of this philosophy,” Ryamizard said. For him, this “is devastating." If Pancasila should fail, the nation will be dragged into the same situation that afflicts the Middle East, he lamented.