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Indonesian Muslim leader calls for Starbucks boycott over LGBT support

Joseph McCormick June 30, 2017

A Muslim leader in Indonesia has called for a boycott of coffee giant Starbucks over its CEO’s support for LGBT people.

Anwar Abbas, a senior figure in the second largest Muslim organisation in Indonesia, Muhammadiyah, urged followers to boycott Starbucks.

Abbas also leads the semi-governmental Indonesian Ulema Council which is responsible for Halal certification in the country.

On Thursday he said that the government should revoke the operating licence of Starbucks because of CEO Howard Schultz’s support for the LGBT community.

In a statement, he said: “We as a nation clearly do not want our attitudes and character as a religious and cultured nation broken and messed up by their presence.”

Many have called for the boycott of Starbucks on social media.

Some suggested that there is an “Islamophobia regime” within the corporation because of its pro-equality stance.

Sbux, LGBT and #BoikotStarbucks trended on Twitter in Indonesia on Friday.

Back in January 2016, Starbucks Indonesia was targeted by terrorists linked to the so-called Islamic State, leading to one store being closed in Jakarta.

Starbucks joins a long list of multinationals including Microsoft, McDonald’s, Google and Twitter, and many more, to state support for marriage equality.

When same-sex marriage was legalised in all 50 states back in 2015, Starbucks released a statement saying: “Being open, inclusive and forward-thinking is at the core of what Starbucks is about. Starbucks has been a longtime advocate for the LGBT community and marriage equality.”

It opened in Indonesia back in 2002 and as of last year had 260 stores in Indonesia.

Amnesty International earlier this year urged Indonesia to stop the caning and arrests of LGBT people in Indonesia.

Anti-LGBT discrimination is said to be costing Indonesia as much as $12 billion every year, according to a recent study.

The losses are a result of barriers to employment, education, healthcare, as well as “physical, psychological, sexual, economic and cultural violence” suffered by LGBT citizens.

France has been urged by human rights groups to put pressure on Indonesia to do more to protect the rights of LGBT+ people.

More: Asia, Indonesia, Indonesia, Islam, starbucks

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