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Jakarta Post

National scene: Mayor takes stern action against FPI

  • The Jakarta Post

    The Jakarta Post

Bandung   /   Sat, January 30, 2016   /  05:00 pm

BANDUNG: Bandung mayor Ridwan Kamil has ordered the Islam Defenders Front (FPI), a hardline Muslim group, to take down '€œprovocative'€ banners targeting the gay community, officials said on Friday.

The move comes after FPI members raided a boarding houses in Bandung where they believed gay people were staying and put up signs requesting that they leave.

'€œI have reprimanded the FPI. They admitted what they did,'€ Ridwan said in a text message forwarded to Reuters by an aide. '€œProvocative banners have to be taken down.'€

An FPI spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community (LGBT) is largely accepted in Indonesia, particularly in urban areas, but pockets of opposition remain. Most recently, a government minister called for a ban on campus-based LGBT organization activities at university.

In the conservative province of Aceh, where sharia (Islamic law) is implemented, the LGBT community faces government-sanctioned discrimination, meaning that people can be sentenced to 100 lashes for engaging in gay sex.

The FPI have a track record of using violence and is known for harassing Christians and religious minorities such as Ahmadiyah, an Islamic sect.

Last year, hundreds of FPI members forced the local government to tear down several churches in the conservative province of Aceh, claiming that they lacked proper building permits.

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