Regional laws based on Islamic sharia and their effect on homosexuals.
The Arus Pelangi (Rainbow Flag) recently launched a national campaign against what they say are a wave of "homophobic" or anti-homosexual, regional laws based on Muslim sharia law. Widodo Budi Darmo, a 35-year-old director for Arus Pelangi, claims that homosexuals in Indonesia are regularly harassed by the police, often detained without charges and then released after a few days.
On the laws he says
In 2004, the region of Palembang introduced a regional law that proscribes homosexuality as an act of prostitution that "violates the norms of common decency, religion, and legal norms as they apply to societal rule". That law says that included under the term "act of prostitution" are "homosexual sex, lesbians, sodomy, sexual harassment, and other indecent acts".
Dodo claims that there are 52 regencies in Indonesia which have enacted sharia laws and that many of these make specific reference to gays and lesbians.
In Jakarta he says, according to long-standing law, homosexuals are legally regarded as mentally defective and therefore, presumably, they can be sectioned, or incarcerated involuntarily in a mental institution.
Indonesia is full of Islamic nut-jobs says Dodo:
There are many Islamic fundamentalist groups in Indonesia that thrive on premanism, or thuggery, against anyone that goes against what they feel their religion dictates. These groups, in Jakarta they are most predominantly the FPI (Front Pembela Islam) and the FBR (Forum Betawi Rempug), will attack the offices, workplaces, and homes of people they consider to be of particular threat to the morals and values of Islam, and that includes homosexuals.
So far this month Dodo's group has met with officials from the Department of Justice and Human Rights but came away unsatisfied with the response they received. Arus Pelangi also campaigns against the RUU APP, the anti-pornography and indecency law.
Dodo says that there are some parliamentarians, mainly from the PDI-P and the PKB, that are supportive of the efforts of Arus Pelangi. One Arus Pelangi proposal that has won a little support from MP's is to include the matter of sexual orientation in a new minority rights, or anti-discrimination, law being considered by parliament presently. But, the dark forces of Islamic conservatism loom, he says:
There has been strong opposition from various fundamentalist and conservative parties who have threatened to block the Minority Rights bill should the sexual orientation issue be inserted.
Arus Pelangi in Jakarta has about 400 members with a 40-30-30% split between lesbians, gay men, and transsexuals. Outside Jakarta offshoots of the organisation include "Us" in Surabaya, Indonesia's second largest city, a chapter in Medan, North Sumatra, and a new group in the small city of Purwokerto, Central Java, formed to protest the murder last year of Vera, a transsexual. Vera's murder, it is claimed, has not aroused the interest of local police to any great degree.
Dodo then goes on to detail some of the, according to him, many tales of abuse of gays by policemen and prison warders. Adang, a gay man who was arrested in an environmentalist protest at Bojong, Bogor, West Java, was later subjected to much sexual abuse and rape by prison warders and other prisoners. Suffering from a mild form of tuberculosis he received no medical attention while in prison and his condition worsened. After spending seven months in jail he died three weeks after being released.
Haven’t they — those wardens — ever heard good ol’ sicilian proverb?:
“if you don’t like gays, don’t f*ck with them”
I am not against the gays because they are human beings too. We must respect their right or discriminate them. To apply sharia law against them is not right, we can bring them at right lane by giving ‘soft’ approach.
we can bring them at right lane by giving ‘soft’ approach.
Sheesh… bradly…. Whatever.
I think the issue on same-sex relationship could undermine Shariah Law. Sphere division between men and women, which is stipulated by Shariah Law can minimise suspicion against gay couple. Those Shariah zealots may not be aware of this twist as their preoccupation on enacting Shariah is not followed by others aspects.
Interesting topic! Just wonder what the Moslems think about Haji or Hajjah or HajiJah Dorce Gamalama.
For those of you smart enough to understand, here is where the islamic position on homosexuality came from. Quoted from an Islamic specialist on the topic printed in the Jakarta post.
The Jakarta Post
Saturday, September 2, 2006
Opinion / Editorial
Changes needed to Islamic view on homosexuality
Farid Muttaqin, Athens, Ohio
It is important to begin any discussion on homosexuality in Islam with a look
at how some hegemonic cultures and traditions before Islam influenced Islamic
teachings. Greek Hellenism and ancient Arabic society were two important
groups that supported a type of Islamic law on homosexuality.
Same-sex relationships have deep roots in the history of humankind. The story
of Lot’s people in the Koran proves that homosexuality has been a part of
human life for a long time. Some famous Greek philosophers such as Aristotle and
Plato also experienced same-sex relationships. In ancient societies,
homosexuality was considered common behavior. Why do we now view homosexuality as
social deviancy? Why is it believed among Muslims that homosexuality is such a
The characteristics of Islamic teaching and its interpretations are possibly
colored by the traditions of previous societies. In ancient Greek society
homosexuality was a usual sexual behavior. Meanwhile, Islam strongly discourages
its believers from mimicking traditions of previous societies. This was
significant for early Islamic believers to clearly distinguish themselves from
non-Muslims. The Islamic restriction against homosexuality has a correlation to this
Additionally, the stigma against homosexuality refers to the academic
tradition of interpretation within Islamic society, including the subject of
homosexuality. Also, the stigma of homosexuality is related to the political interests
of the early formation of Islamic society.
One of the most influential traditions in Islam is the patriarchal view of
ancient Arabic society. This society encouraged people to show the power of
masculinity. It was a common view within ancient Arabic society that only a man
could be a leader. Having a daughter embarrassed parents. Fathers would even
kill their daughters in order to save the family from disgrace. Having several
wives or concubines was a measure of male power. Ancient Arabic society
eradicated feminine values in order to keep their masculine images.
The Prophet Muhammad introduced Islamic teachings in this patriarchal Arabicsociety. Thus, it is possible that the patriarchal views of Arabic society
interfered with the tradition of Islamic interpretation, including on
homosexuality. Ancient Arabic society resisted homosexual behavior because homosexuality
was considered a feminine value. These stereotyped effeminate males were
contrary to tribal interests in conflicts which required masculine values such as
bravery, courage, strength, roughness and dominance. Homosexuality could reduce
these masculine values and lead to losing tribal wars.
It was also common among the first group of Islamic believers to face
socio-political and religious wars with non-Muslim societies. Jihad as a spirit of
religious defense was a well-known Islamic dogma to win these wars. As with
other dogmas of war, jihad at that time was overwhelmed by “masculine values”, and
under the patriarchal influences of Arabic society the first group of Muslims
restricted homosexuality as an irrelevant value of jihad (Wafer, 1997:92). In
addition to this fact, the verses of the Koran on homosexuality describe more
male homosexual experiences than female homosexual ones. The patriarchal
interests influencing Islamic teachings did not count females as significant
members of the society.
In times of peace that required “feminine values” such as beauty, love and
compassion, rather than “the spirit of masculine values”, it is not difficult to
find homosexual experiences in Islamic societies. Some great Islamic scholars
experienced same-sex relationships. Abu Nawas, the greatest Arab poet, was
homosexual. It was common among male Sufis to experience homosexuality in
correlation with the belief that sexual lust or nafs (desire) toward women would
lead them to spiritual decadence (Schimmel, 1979:124). These realities are
crucial evidence that in some contexts homosexuality has not been a major problem
within Islamic society.
Homosexual experiences have been alive among recent Islamic societies,
including Iran, Turkey, Morocco, Syria and Pakistan (Schmitt and Sofer, 1992). Among
Muslims in Indonesia, homosexual experiences are common in pesantren, or
Islamic boarding schools. However, patriarchal views still dominate Islamic
teaching and its interpretations, including on homosexuality. Thus, Islamic
societies tend to maintain the construction of a pseudo socio-religious belief that
homosexuality is a major sin.
Progressive Islamic groups have to be aware that stereotypes against
homosexuals in the name of Islamic teachings encourage discrimination and even
violence. An example of this discrimination can be found in the fact that some Muslim
countries criminalize homosexuality.
Based on the fact that various stereotypes and discrimination against
homosexuals have a correlation with the misinterpretation of Islamic teachings on
homosexuality, it is important to create an agenda toward the recognition of
homosexual rights by representing a new interpretation of these teachings. In this
regard, therefore, the agenda to recognize homosexual rights has a strong
relevance to other progressive Islamic agendas, including stopping violence
The writer graduated from State Islamic University, Jakarta, in Islamic
Philosophy and Theology and is a student at Ohio University Athens, the U.S. His
research focus is liberal aspects of Islamic feminism.
So there you have it! Homosexuality is as old as the days. It was banned under islam just to be different from what had existed before, and for the purpose of being brave in war. Now, why is Islam and other abrahamic religions such as christianity and judaism so uptight about homosexuality? Probably because every religion needs an enemy to survive, which translates into hate towards others who are different, usually minorities.
Its just a pity that people are so easily blinded by religion, and afraid to question it, for fear of going to hell.