Anwar Abbas, above, of Muhammadiyah, the second-largest Islamic group in Indonesia, has called for a boycott of global coffee brand Starbucks because of its support for gay marriage.
According to this report, Abbas said that Starbucks’s pro-gay stance is ruining southeast Asia’s “religious and cultured” core.
If Starbucks only does business, then fine. But don’t bring ideology here,
In May, two men became the first in modern Indonesian history to be punished by the state for their homosexuality, receiving 85 lashes of a rattan cane each.
Indonesia is the world’s most populous nation and Anwar Abbas has an influential voice.
He demanded the government revoke Starbucks’ operating licence.
PT Sari Coffee Indonesia, which holds the licence to run the Starbucks chain, is a legal entity that “always obeys the prevailing regulations and appreciates the cultural values in Indonesia”, an executive at its parent company said.
Indonesia’s reputation for tolerance and pluralism is already under scrutiny after Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, an ethnic-Chinese Christian, was sentenced in May to two years in prison for blasphemy in a trial that came after mass Islamist-led rallies last year.
Asked why he had taken a stand against Starbucks, Abbas said he was informed in a chat group about a pro-LGBT comment made by the company’s senior executive, Howard Schultz, above.
Schultz is now chairman of Starbucks after stepping down from his previous role as chief executive.
Forbes reported that when a Starbucks shareholder complained in 2013 that the company had lost customers because of its support for gay marriage, Schultz said it embraces diversity and that:
Not every decision is an economic decision. If you feel, respectfully, that you can get a higher return than the 38 per cent you got last year, it’s a free country. You can sell your shares in Starbucks and buy shares in another company.
Starbucks customer Annisa Meidiana, 22, a Muslim university student, said she would not stop buying coffee there because of the call for the boycott.
Islam condemns LGBT. It’s a sin. But it doesn’t matter to me. For me, being an LGBT is a human right.