Posts Tagged As: Asia
March 30th, 2010
Indonesia has the fourth largest population in the world, about 230 million, with about half residing on Java and the rest spread across about 17,500 islands. It is predominantly Muslim (about 86%), but the constitution also allows religious freedom, which is defined as the freedom of worship in Islam and five additional religions: Roman Catholicism, Protestantism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism.
The Islam practiced in Indonesia is generally less strident than that practiced in the Middle East. Officially secular (other than in the province of Aceh), the laws do not forbid homosexuality and there is a level of tolerance and even limited visibility. However, there are conservative factions within the nation’s Muslim population who long to remake Indonesia as a Muslim state and to administer Shari’a law.
Additionally, Indonesia has a blasphemy law which prohibits alternative interpretations of the six recognized religions. Although this law is currently being challenged in the Constitutional Court, it is being fiercely defended by the Religion Minister.
This past weekend, the ILGA (the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association) had planned on holding its ILGA Asia conference at Surabaya, the capital of East Java. The conference was to be from Friday, March 26th, through Monday, March 29th, and was to focus on the problems faced by women and by marginalized communities in general.
However, on the 24th, the police refused to permit the event to go on. (AsiaOne)
Indonesian police said Wednesday they will not issue a permit for an international gay and transgender group to convene a regional conference because of fears it could incite unrest.
The unrest cited was a non-subtle threat from Muslim activist groups (Jakarta Globe)
Abdusshomad Buchori, chairman of the East Java chapter of the MUI, said the conference was an attempt “to ruin the people and the young generation.”
“According to Islamic teachings, the same-sex relationships of gays or lesbians as well as bisexuals are condemned by the Almighty,” he said, adding that his organization had sent a formal request to the National Police headquarters and the East Java administration not to permit the conference to go ahead.
Abdusshomad said his organization would not hesitate “to use our own methods” to break up the event should authorities allow it to go forward. “If there are parties that insist on holding the event, we will play hard,” he warned.
Led by the East Java chapter of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), hardline groups descended on a Surabaya hotel on Friday, intimidating delegates who had planned to attend an international gay conference that was canceled after pressure from Islamic organizations.
“We found 130 people, including foreign participants from 13 countries, who were gathering in the hotel,” said a spokesman for the groups, Arukat Jaswadi, who is also chairman of the Center for Indonesian Community Studies. The Indonesian Council of Ulema (MUI) also took part in the raid.
The radical Islamic groups also demanded that the management of the Oval Hotel ask the guests registered for the event to leave. “How can the hotel management guarantee us that those people are not having a conference in the hotel?” said Arukat.
The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Association (ILGA) was scheduled to hold a conference in Surabaya from Friday to Sunday. The event, hosted by gay rights group Gaya Nusantara, had been expected to attract more than 150 activists.
A minor clash occurred during the raid as hotel guests resisted the checks by FPI members. Arukat said scuffles broke out because the ILGA members did not want to cooperate with them and “always argue with us.”
When the ILGA members planned to hold a news conference after the raid, the FPI members prevented them, leading to another skirmish.
“They are undermining us. It’s clear that we don’t want them to be here for the conference, now they want to hold a press conference,” Arukat said.
The groups said they would “keep an eye on the participants and make sure they leave the hotel on Friday afternoon.”
Local sources report that the militants threatened the lives of the conferees, saying that they would burn them alive.
While it is disappointing that these Muslim groups were able to intimidate police into forcing the cancellation of the conference, it is the most recent development that causes the greatest concern. The government, through its Ministry of Religious Affairs, is not choosing to call into question the bullying tactics and death threats of Muslim radicals. Rather, it is taking a position that threatens the freedom of sexual minorities to meet or advocate for their rights. (Fridae)
The Minister of Religious Affairs, Suryadharma Ali, was quoted as saying that activities such as the conference are against religious and moral order, and an offense to the religious community in Indonesia. He added that homosexual behaviour contradicts the teachings of various religions, including Islam. He added that he is certain other religions in Indonesia do not condone homosexual behaviour.
It is believed that the organisers of the conference – none have been specifically named by the authorities although three members of the ILGA Asia board are Indonesian: Poedjiati Tan of Gaya Nusantara, King Oey of Arus Pelangi and Kamilia of Institut Pelangi Perempuan, Indonesia – may be charged under the country’s Blasphemy Law.
If the local organizers of the conference are found guilty of blaspheming, they could be jailed for up to five years. While the Blasphemy Law has been used to outlaw the organization of minority religious sects, the expansion to include as blasphemy those who simply disagree with specific religious doctrines is a threat to the freedoms of all Indonesians. And it, in effect, criminalizes not only sexual behaviors but any attitude, opinion, or advocacy that disagrees with the dominant religion.
In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.
When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.
In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.
On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.
Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!
And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.
Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.
Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.
The FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.