Indonesian religious leader calls for Starbucks boycott

An Indonesian religious leader has called for a boycott of coffee purveyor Starbucks because the organisation supports LGBT rights.

A group in neighbouring country Malaysia has responded to the call, and demanded that the Malaysian government also take action to stop the company operating.

Anwar Abbas, the leader of Muhammadiyah, a group in Indonesia that has 29 million members, said Starbucks’ pro-gay stance threatened the “religious and cultured” core of the country.

‘If Starbucks only does business, then fine. But don’t bring ideology here,’ Abbas told Reuters on Saturday.

Abbas said statements made several years ago by Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz were of concern and called on the Indonesian government to revoke the company’s operating license.

PT Sari Coffee Indonesia, which holds the licence to run the Starbucks chain in Indonesia responded to Abbas’ comments saying that they “always obeys the prevailing regulations and appreciates the cultural values in Indonesia”.

Following initial reports of the comments a Malaysian group has called on their government to ban the coffee operator and any western company that supports LGBT rights.

Malay rights group Pribumi Perkasa Malaysia echoed the call for a nationwide ban according to Today Onlineand also argued that other companies including tech giant Microsoft.

“Perkasa urges Muslims in this country to boycott Starbucks because this United States-based international coffee chain supports LGBT and same-sex marriage,” the group’s Islamic affairs bureau chief Amini Amir Abdullah said in a statement.

“Perkasa also urges the government to reevaluate the trading licence given to companies that support same-sex marriages and LGBT.”

Homosexuality is not illegal in Indonesia, except in the province of Aceh which operates a different set of laws to the rest of the country.

The LGBT community has faced increased discrimination and police harassment recently with gay people being detained under the country’s strict anti-pornography laws. Homosexuality is illegal in Malaysia and nearby Singapore.

There’s no word yet if any of the group’s are aware of the Unicorn Frappucino.

OIP Staff


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