A Muslim leader in Indonesia is calling
on Indonesians to boycott Starbucks over its support for LGBT rights.
Anwar Abbas of Muhammadiyah, a Muslim
organization with nearly 30 million members, told Reuters that the
coffee chain's support for the LGBT community was “not in line”
with Indonesian values.
“If Starbucks only does business,
then fine. But don't bring ideology here,” Abbas
In explaining his reasons, Abbas
pointed to remarks Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz has made in
support of marriage equality.
In 2012, the company became the target
of a boycott in the United States. Organizers behind the Dump
Starbucks campaign claimed that Starbucks “has declared a culture
war on all people of faith who believe that the institution of
marriage as one man and one woman is worth preserving.” As the
boycott fizzled in the United States, organizers took their message
abroad, running online ad campaigns in the Middle East, Indonesia and
When asked about the boycott at a
shareholder meeting in 2013, Schultz, then the company's chief
executive, reiterated the company's support, saying that “not every
decision is an economic decision.” “If you feel, respectfully,
that you can get a higher return than the 38% you got last year, it's
a free country,” he told the shareholder. “You can sell your
shares in Starbucks and buy shares in another company.”
Gay sex is legal in Indonesia except in
Aceh province, which is under Islamic criminal law, but anti-LGBT
sentiment remains high in the world's most populous Muslim nation.
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