Indonesia’s second-largest Muslim organisation called for a boycott of Starbucks yesterday, Perkasa follows suit today.
Just a day after Anwar Abbas of Muhammadiyah called for a boycott of Starbucks over its pro-gay stand and support of same-sex marriage, Malay rights group Pribumi Perkasa Malaysia has made the same call to Muslims here.
Anwar also urged Indonesian authorities to revoke the international coffee chain’s operating licence as the company’s support for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community is “not in line” with the nation’s ideology.
“If Starbucks only does business, then fine. But don’t bring ideology here,” Abbas told Reuters by phone on Saturday.
As to why he had taken a stand against Starbucks, Abbas said he was informed in a chat group about a pro-LGBT comment made by the company’s senior executive, Howard Schultz.
Schultz is now chairman of Starbucks after stepping down from his previous role as chief executive on Apr 3 this year.
Forbes reported that when a Starbucks shareholder complained in 2013 that the company had lost customers because of its support for gay marriage, Schultz said it embraces diversity and that “not every decision is an economic decision”.
“If you feel, respectfully, that you can get a higher return than the 38 percent you got last year, it’s a free country. You can sell your shares in Starbucks and buy shares in another company,” Schultz was reported as saying at that time.
Starbucks’ stand is actually no secret; the company has been openly supportive of LGBT and same-sex marriage for a long time now.
In 2012, Starbucks was on a list of companies, which included Microsoft, endorsing the legalisation of gay marriage in Washington state.
On Jun 23, 2014, the coffee chain marked the 40th anniversary of the Seattle Pride Parade by raising an 800-square-foot rainbow flag at its corporate headquarters as Schultz watched from below.
In 2015, Schultz applauded the US Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality.
Reuters also reported that Indonesia’s reputation for tolerance and pluralism is already under scrutiny after Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, an ethnic-Chinese Christian popularly known as Ahok, was sentenced in May to two years in jail for blasphemy in a trial that came after mass Islamist-led rallies last year.
On our shores, Perkasa’s Islamic affairs bureau chief Amini Amir Abdullah said in a statement, “Perkasa urges Muslims in this country to boycott Starbucks because this United States-based international coffee chain supports LGBT and same-sex marriage,”
“Perkasa also urges the government to reevaluate the trading licence given to companies that support same-sex marriages and LGBT,” Amini added.