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Indonesia’s largest Islamic group calls on government to criminalize gay sex, activism

Indonesia’s largest Islamic group calls on government to criminalize gay sex, activism

International Day Against Homophobia in Jakarta, Indonesia, 2015

Indonesia’s largest Islamic group, which is known for its moderate interpretation of the religion, has joined the bandwagon to attack LGBTI people in the country of 250 million.

Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) on Thursday issued a statement declaring that it would not recognize the existence of LGBT groups and their activities, and that LGBT people’s sexual orientation was incompatible with human nature, according to the Jakarta Post.

The statement comes after a slew of anti-LGBT remarks by politicians in recent weeks. Last week, Indonesia’s leading psychiatric body classified homosexuality and gender dysphoria as mental disorders that can be cured with proper treatment.

The Islamic group, which claims over 50 million members, also called on the government to criminalize homosexuality and LGBT rights activism.

It also called for the rehabilitation of people who are LGBTI.

The Post quoted the statement as saying, ‘[The law should also stipulate] rehabilitation for every person who has LGBT characteristics so they can return to normal.’

The World Health Organization removed homosexuality from its list of psychiatric disorders in 1970.

Gay sex is not a crime in Indonesia but remains taboo in many parts the Muslim-majority.

This week, Tifatul Sembiring, who is a member of Parliament and former Information and Communications Minister, posted a verse from the hadith on Twitter suggesting that gays should be put to death. The tweet was later deleted after it received criticism.