Indonesia’s only transgender boarding school has been forced to close after being branded ‘immoral’.
Al Fatah was widely regarded as a symbol of tolerance in the country. The school claimed it was the only Islamic boarding school for transgender students in the world.
However, it has been forced to close down by a group called the Islamic Jihad Front. The ‘Islamic hardliners’ are putting increasing pressure on the gay community, pornography and drinking alcohol. They are also shutting down festivals focussing on women’s issues, as well as churches that don’t practice Islam.
“Unfortunately in recent years, intolerant groups have been imposing their rigid beliefs on people,” said Agnes Dwi Rusjiyati, the local coordinator of activist group Bhinneka Tunggal Ika National Alliance.
Despite the risk, a small group of former students at the school, which was founded in 2008, continue to gather and pray and study at the building in Yogyakarta.
The closure of the school is yet another sign of the intolerance sweeping through the city, amid reports of an unprecedented amount of anti-LGBT attacks in Indonesia.
Indonesia is in the process of blocking Grindr and 80 other gay websites in clampdown on ‘deviant propaganda.’