Gays & Sharia

Oct 22nd, 2006, in News, by

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.

The Gay Archipelago: Sexuality and Nation in Indonesia
The Gay Archipelago: Sexuality and Nation in Indonesia.

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.

6 Comments on “Gays & Sharia”

  1. Munafikbangetloepade says:

    Haven’t they — those wardens — ever heard good ol’ sicilian proverb?:

    “if you don’t like gays, don’t f*ck with them”

  2. Bradlymail says:

    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.

  3. Munafikbangetloepade says:

    we can bring them at right lane by giving ‘soft’ approach.

    Sheesh… bradly…. Whatever.

  4. Citu says:

    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.

  5. Philly Mcfadden says:

    Interesting topic! Just wonder what the Moslems think about Haji or Hajjah or HajiJah Dorce Gamalama.

  6. Rob says:

    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
    terrible sin?
    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
    against women.
    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.

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