APSN Banner

65% of Indonesian Muslims support boycott of Israeli-affiliated products: Populix

Jakarta Globe - February 22, 2024

Faisal Maliki Baskoro, Jakarta – A study by digital research firm Populix reveals that 65 percent of Muslim respondents support the Indonesian Ulema Council's (MUI) call to boycott products affiliated with Israel as a form of solidarity with the people of Palestine.

In November 2023, the MUI issued a fatwa (edict) declaring Muslims must support the struggle for Palestinian independence through various means, including donations, almsgiving, or charity. Additionally, the fatwa prohibits any form of activity and support for Israel's aggression against Palestine.

Respondents state that the primary motivation behind their intention to comply with the fatwa is to show solidarity with Palestine, express a response to humanitarian issues, and protest against Israel's military aggression.

According to Populix's study titled "Understanding Public Sentiment on the Boycotts Movement Amid the Palestine-Israel Dispute," awareness of MUI Fatwa has reached a high level of 94 percent among Indonesian society, both Muslim and non-Muslim.

"The call for boycott is so strong that awareness of this fatwa is not only among Muslims but also non-Muslims. Even non-Muslim respondents express their support for the boycott. This may be because this issue is a humanitarian one that transcends religious boundaries," said Vivi Zabkie, Head of Social Research at Populix.

On the other hand, the impact of this boycott movement has begun to be felt by companies and brands affiliated with Israel. In the fourth quarter of 2023, McDonald's, a target of the boycott movement, faced a global decline in total revenue of 4 percent compared to the previous quarter.

Looking specifically at the Indonesian market, fast-moving consumer goods company Unilever Indonesia recorded a significant decline in sales due to the boycott. The company posted reduced sales in the fourth quarter of 2023, amounting to Rp 8.1 trillion. This represents a decline both quarter-on-quarter by 20.6 percent and year-on-year (by 16.3 percent. The cumulative sales for the full year 2023 reached Rp 38.6 trillion, reflecting a 6.3 percent year-on-year decrease.

Although the majority of Muslim respondents express agreement with the fatwa and commit to compliance, it is not entirely accepted by Indonesian society. This is reflected in the 26 percent of respondents who remain hesitant about compliance with the fatwa. Those who are still unsure express their uncertainty about the practical implications of the boycott and feel insufficiently informed to make decisions at present.

Meanwhile, 9 percent of respondents oppose the fatwa. They reject it due to a lack of confidence in the effectiveness of the boycott to address social and political issues, expressing a desire for autonomy in product choices. This dynamic reflects public perspectives on the Palestine-Israel issue and indicates the need for a more in-depth understanding of various viewpoints.

The research was conducted from Nov. 21 to 28, 2023. The survey was carried out online with a total of 1,058 respondents, both male and female aged 17-55, in Indonesia. Survey questions were presented in the form of a questionnaire with single-choice, multiple-choice, and Likert scale formats.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/business/65-of-indonesian-muslims-support-boycott-of-israeliaffiliated-products-populi