An Indonesia religious leader said people were too ‘permissive’ of LGBTI people. He also said their ‘apathetic’ attitude was letting the LGBTI ‘movement thrive’.
Gusrizal Gazahar is the chairman of the West Sumatra region’s Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI). The Ulema Council is Indonesia’s top Muslim clerical body and very influential in the Muslim-majority country.
‘People tend to be apathetic when they witness this phenomenon as long as the perpetrator is not their relatives. This attitude continues to thrive the LGBT movement,’ he told Tempo.co.
Gusrizal described LGBT as a practice and an ideology. He said there was a threat people could become LGBT ‘victims’.
‘These ideological people are actively spreading their behaviors. Society should not stand still and let that happen,’ he said.
‘What a sorry state of affairs’
His comments come as anti-LGBTI sentiment grows in Indonesia. The LGBTI community has faced increased persecution from society and authorities since about January 2016.
But as the country nears national elections many political leaders have become very vocal in their opposition of the LGBTI community to appeal to the growing numbers of conservative religious groups.
Last month, Zulkifli Hasan, chair of the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) said LGBTI people would run ‘rampant’ if they remained ‘unchecked’.
‘Incoming foreign values are believed to be great and followed by people.Then with that comes the rush of LGBT lifestyle, liquor, promiscuity, drugs which will be unstoppable again [in Indonesia],’ he said.
One of Indonesia’s leading newspapers, The Jakarta Post, condemned the targeting of the LGBTI community for political gain in a scathing editorial.
‘We appear to be witnessing the emergence of “Trumpism”, where spinning hate is becoming the new norm in Indonesian politics. What a sorry state of affairs,’ the editorial read.