Indonesian LGBT community are enemy combatants in a “proxy war”

BEAWIHARTA/REUTERS An Indonesian man is publicly caned for having gay sex in Banda Aceh, in May.

It may not be illegal to be gay in Indonesia, but in the largest Muslim-majority police are cracking down on issues of private morality anyway.

[…] as conservative religious groups become more prominent in political life, police are increasingly finding other ways to crack down on LGBT communities.

At the weekend, they arrested 58 Indonesians and foreigners at a Jakarta sauna popular with gay men, allegedly for violating the country’s pornography laws. Indonesia’s pornography legislation – passed in 2008 and often criticised by legal experts and human rights activists for being too vague – technically prohibits any public depiction of sex for profit, but in practice it is often used against politically vulnerable groups.

[…] “These communities have always been targeted by police, but we’ve seen this worsen since 2016, when a number of high-level politicians made statements portraying LGBT communities as immoral or a threat to the nation,” Gunawan said.

Pakistani students of the Islam-e Jamiat party rally to condemn a meeting

This is the reality of political Islam throughout Islamic countries like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia yet LGBT groups in the West continue to apologise for Islam and to protest in support of the Muslim community even though the Muslim community does not support them in return.

There have been several public comments that may have led police to believe a crackdown was in order, but the most famous was probably delivered by Defence Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu, who said last year that the LGBT agenda was like a “proxy war” threatening national sovereignty.

“This is a kind of modern warfare,” he said, according to Tempo magazine. “It’s dangerous as we can’t see who our foes are, but out of the blue everyone is brainwashed – now the (LGBT) community is demanding more freedom, it really is a threat.”

When will the LGBT community in the West wake up and realise that political Islam is in a war with them and sees the LGBT community as dangerous and a threat to be suppressed?

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said last year that the job of police was to defend LGBT communities and other groups from discrimination, but he has largely stayed on the sidelines of the debate as the crackdown has intensified.

Actions speak louder than words. It may not be officially illegal to be gay but the actions of police and the inactions of President Joko make it clear that the Indonesia LGBT community needs to stay in the closet as they are seen as enemies of the Islamic state.

Since the end of 2016, radical Islamists have also been playing a larger role in Indonesia’s politics. Groups like the Islamic Defenders Front, or FPI, were influential in organising mass rallies calling for the imprisonment of Christian Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama for allegedly committing blasphemy against Islam. They got their wish in May.

[…] The glaring exception to Indonesia’s tolerance of private sexuality is the conservative and semi-autonomous Aceh province, where sharia courts now dole out public punishments. In May, two men were publicly caned for having sex.

[…] the spate of arrests has had a chilling effect on the LGBT community.

“The situation right now is very sad,” said Azril Hadimirza, the head of People’s Diversity Network, a new support organisation for LGBT Indonesians and other minorities. “LGBT persons have always faced discrimination in the workplace, or in their family lives, but now the police are using the power of the state against us in our private spaces, too.


– The Washington Post

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