The present thesis aims to explain prejudice and violence linked to terrorism in interreligious context in Indonesia. It is divided into two themes. Theme 1 addresses issues related to Islamic terrorism. It consists of two papers. Paper 1 of theme 1 investigates motives and reasons behind the emergence of terrorism activities in Indonesia. Using a qualitative study by conducting focus group discussions and interviews (N =40), terror activities are justified because: (1) Indonesia is seen as being in a state of war; (2) Suicide bombing is believed to be noble; (3) the targets are considered as a representative of evil. Moreover, paper 2 of theme 1 focuses to understand when and how act of terrorism is supported and denounced by Islamic fundamentalists in Indonesia.
Using a quantitative research, the result of 309 Muslim participants showed that the relationship between Islamic Fundamentalism and support for terrorism acts was positively significant for Muslims holding low belief in establishing Islam peacefully and high rationalization of violent attack. The findings indicate that Islamic fundamentalism may potentially support violent as well as non-violent acts under certain conditions.
Theme 2 aims to describe the way how people see others in a negative way (i.e. prejudice). It consists of three papers introducing the idea of ingroup and outgroup meta-prejudice; ingroup meta-prejudice is the way of how group members think that their own group think about an outgroup; outgroup meta-prejudice is the way how an ingroup member thinks that his or her ingroup is viewed by outgroup members. Across three papers, prejudice was found consistently obtained from ingroup and outgroup meta-prejudice. Particularly, paper 1 of theme 2 predicted that ingroup meta-prejudice would mediate the effect of outgroup meta-prejudice on prejudice. The results from majority Sunni Muslim participants (N = 214) targeting the Ahmadiyya group (i.e. minority subgroup of Islam) and Christians (i.e. minority outgroup) showed that ingroup meta-prejudice was found to be a strong predictor of prejudice through which it mediated the effect of outgroup meta-prejudice on prejudice.
Subsequently, paper 2 of theme 2 investigates the role of ingroup and outgroup meta-prejudice in mediating the effect of perceived intergroup relationship. Across three samples of Sunni Muslims, Ahmadiyya, and Christians participants (N = 477), the result demonstrated that Ingroup and outgroup meta-prejudice was found to play a key role in predicting prejudice such that ingroup and outgroup meta-prejudice mediated the effect of perceived intergroup relationship on prejudice. Furthermore, paper 3 of theme 2 tested the effect of ingroup and outgroup meta-prejudice on prejudice moderated by the conditions of high and low level of ingroup self-evaluation. Across two samples of Christians and Muslims participants (N =362), the result of the research showed that the effect of ingroup and outgroup meta-prejudice on prejudice was higher when ingroup self-valuation was high than when it was low. The findings of all three papers of theme 2 indicates that how group members think of what others are thinking plays a key role in influencing intergroup relations and perceptions.