Jakarta – Hundreds of conservative Muslims protested outside Coldplay's first ever gig in Indonesia on Wednesday, clashing with police and booing concertgoers over the band's support for the LGBTQ community.
Several Islamic groups had called for the British band's only concert in Muslim-majority Indonesia this year to be cancelled over the rock group's views which they say clash with their conservative beliefs.
The show at Gelora Bung Karno stadium in the capital Jakarta is part of the band's "Music of the Spheres World Tour" and more than 70,000 tickets sold out in just hours after going on sale this year.
Outside the stadium ahead of the concert, at least 300 conservative Muslims gathered to chant and hold banners opposing the show, according to an AFP journalist.
Many of them were part of a group that calls itself the "anti-LGBT movement" and when confronted by police, protesters started to push and clash with officers.
They booed at concertgoers arriving at the stadium and shouted accusations that they were LGBTQ supporters, according to local media reports.
Some carried banners accusing Coldplay of "LGBT propaganda" and damaging the country's "faith and morals".
Gay couples often face persecution and discrimination in the world's most populous Muslim-majority country, where homosexuality remains taboo.
Anwar Abbas, deputy chairman of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) criticised the decision to go on with the show.
"We know that Coldplay supports LGBT, but now the question is, is the LGBT behaviour in line with... our constitution?" he said in a statement on Wednesday.
"There are six religions recognised in this country, and not one of them allows and tolerates LGBT practice."
Jakarta police spokesman Sr. Comr. Trunoyudo Wisnu Andiko told reporters the protesters did not have a permit to stage a rally. The police deployed nearly 4,000 personnel to secure the sold-out concert.
The band has not commented on the protests but it posted an image of lead singer Chris Martin walking barefoot through central Jakarta on Tuesday.