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Jakarta Post

A Gusdurian'€™s oath vs the heteronormative credo

  • Aan Anshori

    The Jakarta Post

Jombang, East Java   /   Fri, February 5, 2016   /  04:50 pm

Regarding the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, people have the right to their opinions. However, what I cannot understand, especially as a Gusdurian, or follower of Abdurrahman '€œGus Dur'€ Wahid, is when such disagreements are used to deny the fundamental rights of LGBT people.

The simple analogy is this. I cannot deprive pork eaters of their basic rights as human beings, just because I feel disgusted about eating it '€” or another example '€” I do not agree with the belief that states Jesus is the son of God.

In regard to such thinking, do I have the right to mistreat believers or to treat them cruelly? Or do they deserve to be abused and castigated for their beliefs? Or even to just blindly follow along and urge countries to suppress them?

If you answer '€œyes'€ to any of the three questions above and have participated in the Gus Dur'€™s Class of Thought (KPG), which I used to attend as a facilitator, I would suggest you retake the class.

I could be wrong, but anyone should be ashamed to claim to be a Gusdurian, but at the same time maintain elements of discrimination in their heart and soul.

For me, the oath of a Gusdurian is to uphold the nine primary values of Gus Dur and to run the good race '€” even if it means we should fly alone like an eagle.

A Gusdurian is not only obliged to fight the unfair/unlawful seizure of farmers'€™ lands and homes. His or her soul, conscience and brain must be repulsed when there are minorities who are trampled upon and are denied their basic humanity.

Depriving LGBT people of their basic rights as citizens is equally as offensive as not allowing Gafatar followers, Ahmadis, Shiites or communists to live in Indonesia. These groups are only considered to be out of the mainstream because their existence is defined through the reflections of the majority.

Believe it or not, homosexuality is not a plague. If it was contagious, people such as the Mayor of Bandung Ridwan Kamil would definitely be gay because he once shared an office with a homosexual.

The history of homosexuality is one of repression.

This history is buried deep. For those who want to come out, they are presented with a letter '€” the same statement that the Shia refugees in Sampang received when they wanted to return home.

The contents coerce loyalty in the form of a heteronormative creed: '€œI testify that there is no absolute truth other than heterosexual sexuality. And I vow to fight anyone who would deny it.'€

Lately, I felt caught up in the turmoil of the many people trapped in this creed. They are not able to control their hatred and disgust when discussing LGBT people and the issues related to them.

Many of us often choose not to know the details only because of laziness to learn, dishonesty and timidity.

They are there '€” even carrying the title of professor and holding national office '€” letting these infantile feelings surge in such great quakes as to disrupt logical reasoning in defiance of humanity.

They prefer to tout the nonsense story of Sodom and Gomorrah '€” the traditional interpretation has been discredited and should not be passed down from generation to generation '€” and allow that falsity to control their minds.

If they are not lazy and if they are brave enough to carefully comb through the story of Lot, they will discover that God condemned sexual infidelity and the coercive practices which, at that time, happened to involve same sexes.

I reiterate: It was the coercive nature of the sexual aggression that was condemned by God. The coercive aggression that we often refer to as rape is, and can also be, committed by men against women. However, and this is important, most sexual relations between men and women are not coercive relationships. They are very much grounded in love. The same situation also applies to homosexual groups.

Unfortunately, many of us often choose not to know the details only because of three things: laziness to learn, dishonesty and timidity. Moreover, there are those who are bound up in a stinking, rotten blindfold, and at this point I want to cover my nose in disgust, that the LGBT issue is a liberal, global capitalism agenda, a package overflowing with pluralism and multiculturalism.

Oh God!

For people like this, I don'€™t even know what to say. I surrender them to the control of Almighty Allah as they '€” apparently '€” are included in the critical '€œstage'€ referenced in al-Baqarah 7-8. Nevertheless, I will make sure to remain steadfast in love and to love them, if they will allow it.

The writer is Gusdurian activist and coordinator of Islamic Network against Discrimination (JIAD) East Java, who lives in Jombang.

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