• About the same number concurred with another fatwa warning that Shia Muslims pose a threat to Indonesia’s Sunni Muslim majority.

But beware of generalizing: More than half were against a measure making it more difficult for Christians to build churches. And the percentage who said the government should allow the existence of mass organizations that espouse radical Islamist views plummeted—from half to less than 10 percent.

Meanwhile, just 7 percent agreed that terrorism stems from “disillusionment with the Muslim condition” and a majority criticized the government’s failure to protect Shia Muslims and members of the Ahmadiyah sect from attacks by Muslim militants.

That underlines the fact that, while the influence of conservative Islam may be on the rise in the Indonesian newsroom, to most Indonesian journalists, those who carry out violence in the name of religion are anathema.


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Lawrence Pintak is founding dean of The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University; a former CBS News Middle East correspondent; and creator of the free online Poynter course, Covering Islam in America. His most recent book is The New Arab Journalist: Mission and Identity in a Time of Turmoil.