Indonesia’s Muslim Leader Urges to Boycott Starbucks Over LGBT Support

Indonesia as the country with highest Muslim population, really upholds religion over anything else, just like the country’s first principle in the nation’s foundational philosophical theory (Pancasila) which is Ketuhanan Yang Maha Esa meaning A Divinity that is an ultimate unity in English. Although the country acknowledges 6 official religions (Islam, Christian Protestantism, Rome Catholic, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Kong Hu Chu), Islam has the most followers with over than 200 million people, which made the country has a lot of Islamic organizations and leaders.

One of the leader from a prominent Islamic organization Muhammadiyah, Anwar Abbas asserts the government to boycott and revoke the operating license of famous international coffee chain Starbucks in Indonesia, because the company’s policy in supporting the LGBT rights which are ‘not in line’ with Islamic law. He said in a statement that Starbucks’ business ideology and ‘lifestyle’ that they chose and developed are not appropriate with Indonesia’s ideology which is Pancasila.

If Starbucks only does business, then fine. But don’t bring ideology here

said Anwar Abass to Reuters on Saturday.

He also urges the Indonesia citizen to stop buying drinks at Starbucks and start supporting the local coffee business.

On 2013, Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz is indeed showing a massive amount of supports to same-sex marriages in a business meeting with Starbucks’ shareholders. He stated that, he doesn’t need money from the shareholders who against his stance to the LGBT.  Anwar Abbas thinks that Schultz’s stance would influence Indonesia’s citizen who consume Starbucks and make them supporting same sex marriage too.

PT. Sari Coffee Indonesia, which holds the licence to run the Starbucks chain in Indonesia, claims to ‘always obeys the prevailing regulations and appreciates the cultural values in Indonesia’. Yuti Resani as Marketing Communications and CSR Manager of the incorporated company has stated that Starbucks in Indonesia would still be in line with Starbucks headquarter in the USA. She also stated that her side is still respecting diversity and equality and will commit to the decision of Starbucks headquarter.

Anwar Abbas’ statements received mixed response from Indonesia’s citizen. The hashtag #BoikotStarbucks (means boycott Starbucks) was even trending on Twitter. Some giving supports to his statements about how Starbucks’ policy is violating the Islamic law while some disagree and giving supports to Starbucks.

Indonesia is really far from accepting LGBT people. Although the President, Joko Widodo has declared that “the police must act” against any moves by bigoted groups or individuals to harm LGBT people or deny them their rights, and that “there should be no discrimination against anyone.” The discrimination towards LGBT community in Indonesia are still happening. Recently, police arrested 141 gay men after they raid a gym where gay sex party allegedly took place. Two gay men were also caned 83 times because gay sex in Aceh, one of Indonesia’s province that implemented Sharia Law.






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