Indonesia’s only Islamic school for transgender women has been shut down in the city of Yogyakarta, the latest in a series of attacks on the Muslim-majority country’s LGBTI community .
Local government officials and residents decided Wednesday (25 February) night to close down the Al Fatah Pesantren Waria, which was recently been featured in several foreign media outlets.
‘We decided this based on security, order and people’s comfort,’ Banguntapan district head Jati Bayu Broto, who was also the moderator of the meeting, was quoted as saying by The Jakarta Post.
On Friday, dozens of members of the hardline group, the Islamic Jihad Front, showed up at the boarding school in an attempt to intimidate students to ‘return to the right way’ – but the madrasa had already been evacuated by police.
The Yogyakarta police also stopped activist group Solidaritas Perjuangan Demokrasi from staging a LGBTI rights rally in the city on Tuesday.
Gay sex is not a crime in Indonesia, except in Sharia-ruled Aceh province, but remains taboo in many parts of the Southeast Asian country and
Earlier this week, the mayor of an Indonesian city claimed milk formula and instant noodles could make babies gay, and the defense minister said the LGBTI movement was more dangerous than nuclear warfare.
And in January, the minister of research, technology and higher education called for LGBTI students to be banned from universities.