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New survey finds sharp drop in influence of fugitive FPI leader Rizieq Shihab

CNN Indonesia - November 14, 2018

Jakarta – The latest survey by polling company LSI Denny JA titled Religious Leaders and their Electoral Effect has found that the influence of Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) "Great Leader" Rizieq Shihab has declined significantly as a result of his long stay in Saudi Arabia.

"Since he has been in Saudi Arabia for such a long time and the image created by his involvement in legal cases, the influence of Habib Rizieq Shihab has declined significantly", said researcher Ikrama Masloman at the LSI Denny JA offices in East Jakarta on Wednesday November 14.

The survey results wer divided into three segments in order to view Rizieq Shihab's influence in the eyes of the public. The three segments were the level of identification, how much he is liked and to what degree his appeals are followed.

In the segment on the level of identification, the number of respondents who said they knew who Shihab was rose from 48.7 percent in December 2016 to 53.4 percent in October 2018.

In the segment on how much he is liked, the number of respondents who like Shihab declined from 67.3 percent in 2016 to 52.9 percent in October 2018.

In the segment on following his appeals, the size of the group which follows Shihab's appeals has declined dramatically. In December 2016, those that followed Shihab's instructions or commands was as high as 31.4 percent. This declined to 17 percent in October 2018.

Although his prestige has declined, Shihab is still included in the five most important ulama [religious leaders] or influential religious leaders. He is now in fifth place.

The ulama whose appeals are most followed by the public is Ustaz [Islamic teacher] Abdul Somad with a score of 30.2 percent. The number of respondents who say they have listened to Somad is 59.3 percent and those that like him stood at 82.5 present.

Second place is held by Ustaz Arifin Ilham. The number of respondents that said they would follow his appeals was 25.9 percent with 41.2 percent saying they have listened to him and 84.4 percent saying they like him.

Ustaz Yusuf Mansur is in third position with 24.9 percent of respondents saying that they would follow his appeals, 57.2 percent saying they have listened to him and 84.9 percent saying they like Mansur.

In fourth place is Abdullah Gymnastiar or Aa Gym. As many as 23.5 percent or respondents said they would follow Aa Gym's appeals, 69.3 percent said they had listened to him and he is liked by 79.7 percent of respondents.

The LSI Denny JA survey was conducted between October 10-19 and polled 1,200 respondents in 34 provinces. Face-to-face interviews were used with a questionnaire given to respondents chosen through a multi-stage random sampling method.

"With a margin of error of around 2.8 percent. The survey was funded by LSI Denny JA itself", said Masloman. (bmw/wis)


Responding to the survey, the FPI dismissed the results saying that the survey was "paid for", although the FPI's legal department head Sugito Atmo also admitted that Shihab's long absence and the numerous legal cases he is facing have indeed affected his influence. FPI attorney Munarman also claimed the survey was "paid" and "made to order", and that nobody listens to the LSI anyway, adding that Shihab wasn't interested in how his influence is rated in the polls and is only fighting for God Almighty's blessing [see https://news.detik.com/berita/4302113/fpi-jawab-lsi-soal-pengaruh-habib-rizieq-survei-bayaran-itu and https://news.detik.com/berita/d-4302450/survei-lsi-soal-pengaruh-hrs-fpi-biar-masyarakat-nilai-sendiri].

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the article was LSI Denny JA: Pengaruh Rizieq Turun Selama di Saudi.]

Source: https://www.cnnindonesia.com/nasional/20181114143144-32-346505/lsi-denny-ja-pengaruh-rizieq-turun-selama-di-saudi?.

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