Members of the Islamic Defender Front donned masks and threatened to set fire to a venue at the Q! Film Festival in the Indonesian capitol city if screenings continued.
The protesters called the international film festival blasphemy and chanted homophobic war cries. Despite the protests, the festival celebrates its ninth installment with the Jakarta event, opening last week.
The fest shoots to raise awareness and tolerance of gay issues. We're still going to go on, John Badalu, the festival's co-founder and this year's director, told Jakarta Post. Unfortunately, though, some of last night's showings ground to
Despite permanently ending Q! fest screenings at the French cultural center and the Japan Foundation, screenings at the police-guarded Goethe Institute German Cultural Centre shall continue, the center's program assistant told The Guardian.
Indonesia's top Islamic body has said that homosexuality is an abuse of human rights and demanded the government ban an ongoing gay and lesbian film festival.
It also condemned foreign cultural centres for showing the films at private screenings.
We reject the screening of the films which contain gay and homosexual lives as they are against Islamic and Indonesian cultural values, Indonesia Ulema Council (MUI) chairman Ma'ruf Amin said: The foreign representatives including the
German and French cultural centres must show their respect for our sovereignty. They should not bring their culture which goes against our local value .
Q! is in its ninth edition and has become the biggest festival of its kind in Asia and the only one in the Muslim world, testifying to Indonesia's fading reputation as a moderate country.
Communications Minister Tifatul Sembiring has posted comments on Twitter blaming perverted sex acts for the spread of AIDS, and quoted a Koranic verse about stoning homosexuals.
Indonesia is planning to ban gay networking apps , in the latest demonstration of the country's growing intolerance toward the LGBT community.
A government official confirmed that authorities are already moving to block at least three apps, Grindr, Blued and BoyAhoy.
But the ban could be much broader. According to Buzzfeed , more than 80 websites and applications geared toward sexual and gender minorities could fall under the injunction. AFP cited communications ministry spokesperson Noor Iza as claiming that
such websites promote sexual deviancy.
The spokesperson said that letters had been sent to three online service providers requesting that the apps be blocked, but it is unclear whether they will adhere to the bid.
Gay dating apps have been pulled from the Google Play Store in Indonesia amid a government crackdown on the LGBT community.
China-based app Blued, which is the largest hook-up app for the LGBT community across Asia and rivals Grindr globally, was pulled from the store as the government demanded Google censor a total of 73 LGBT-related applications. The government
claimed that the app were removed due to claims of negative content and pornographic content.
Communications ministry spokescensor Noor Iza told AFP:
There was some negative content related to pornography inside the application. Probably one or some members of the application put the pornographic content inside.
I don't know [whether the ministry has sent a similar request to Apple]. They should since there are two operating systems.
Meanwhile lawmakers are trying to pass legislation which would outlaw LGBT behaviours on television -- potentially censoring shows that include LGBT characters as well as news reports on the LGBT community.
It is technically legal to be gay in Indonesia apart from Aceh province, which implements extreme punishments under Shariah law.