Jihad as justification: National survey evidence of belief in violent jihad as a mediating factor for sacred violence among Muslims in Indonesia


Correspondence: Hamdi Muluk, Fakultas Psikologi, Gedung A Lantai 2, Universitas Indonesia, Depok, Indonesia. Email: hamdim@ui.ac.id


Many factors have been used to explain sacred violence. Regardless of the abundance of theories, two issues have emerged: lack of national-level evidence and lack of attention to the justification factor for the violence. We argue that belief in violent jihad serves as justification for sacred violence, and conducted two studies to address the issues. The first study provides narratives on violence justification. The second quantitatively tests the mediating role of belief in violent jihad on sacred violence. It was found that only violent jihad, but not religiosity, fundamentalism, support for Islamic law, or perceptions of unfairness predicted sacred violence.