Jakarta – The country's peak Islamic body the Indonesian Ulama Council (MUI) and the leaders of Islamic ormas (social or mass organisations) have agreed to ask President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and the House of Representatives (DPR) to include Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) practices as criminal acts in the Draft Criminal Code (RKUHP).
This was one of the points agreed to during a Cross Ormas Proselytizing National Ulama Gathering (Halaqah) in Jakarta on May 31 titled "Why We Reject LGBT" which was initiated by MUI's Proselytizing Commission.
"The participants at the Halaqah are also pushing the government and the DPR to include homosexual behaviour in general as a criminal act in the RKUHP", said MUI Proselytizing Commission Chairperson Ahmad Zubaidi in an official press release on the MUI website on Thursday June 2.
Zubaidi asserted that the MUI and Islamic ormas strongly reject LGBT practices. He explained that same-sex marriage as desired by the LGBT community is a violation of the state ideology of Pancasila, the 1945 Constitution and the Marriage Law.
He then said that Allah the Almighty prohibits same-sex sexual relations and this is an act which is fahisyah (evil, shameful, contemptible) or very despicable, excessive and exceeds the limitations on behaviour.
"We are urging the governed to immediately put a stop to and prohibit all activities and movements carried out or supported by organisations, NGOs [non-government organisations] as well as international companies in Indonesia which are a manifestation of LGBT in any form or media whatsoever", said Zubaidi.
MUI Proselytizing Division Chairperson Cholil Nafis meanwhile also urged the government to issue legislation which prohibits LGBT behaviour and practices as a mass endeavor to suppress the movement.
"With this move, we are conveying this to the RKUHP committee, then the DPR later and also to the government", said Nafis.
Nafis said that they prohibit and reject LGBT because the practise conflicts with the religion of Islam. Islam, he continued, teaches that the creation of a human being is the essence of a [married] couple and the existence of a tendency in sexual orientation to the opposite sex.
Nafis said that the rejection of and the criminalisation of LGBT behaviour is not just an issue of indecency, coercion or a campaign against pornography, but the same criminal law should apply where there is mutual consent.
"Even though LGBT does not harm a person or an individual directly, it does in fact have a bigger impact, namely in destroying our national character", said Nafis.
Nafis also explained that LGBT behaviour should be subject to discressionary punishment by those in authority. He also emphasised that sodomy is haram (forbidden under Islamic law) and is a despicable act which carries huge sin.
"We don't just reject it, we're also cooperating with other parties to rehabilitate people contaminated with LGBT. We want to involve the ulama [Islamic leaders], psychologists and also hospitals to help those who have a wrong orientation and need to be straightened out", said Nafis.
In 2014 the MUI issued Fatwa (edict) Number 57/2014 on Lesbians, Gays, Sodomy and Indecency. Under the fatwa, it was declared that homosexually – both lesbian and gay – is haram and represents a crime (jarimah). (rzr/DAL)
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "MUI dan Ormas Islam Sepakat Minta LGBT Kena Pidana di RKUHP".]