Some of Indonesia’s most prominent Muslim leaders have called for a boycott of US coffee chain Starbucks after becoming aware of pro-LGBT and marriage equality comments made by then-CEO now-Chairman Howard Schultz in 2013.
The comments have infuriated some, particularly as Schultz encouraged detractors to withdraw investments from the company during the Starbucks’ Annual General Meeting of Shareholders in March 2013.
LGBT rights and issues have been sidelined in Indonesia, with many of the country’s more conservative provinces introducing bylaws targeting the community and raids seeing
Azrul Tanjung, Head of the Indonesian Council of Ulama (MUI) Economic Commission, warned the statement could discourage future investors in Starbucks from Muslim-majority Indonesia or even see current investors withdraw funds.
He predicted the CEO’s statement would eventually lead to the iconic coffee house going broke in the country following a boycott.
“We know that the majority of Starbucks’ target market in Indonesia is Muslim. If emerging boycotts due to the statement begin to spread across Indonesia, it may lead to bankruptcy in Indonesia,” Tanjung said, as reported by Okezone.
The country’s second-largest Islamic organisation Muhammadiyah also weighed in, with Anwar Abbas, Head of the Economic Division of the Muhammadiyah Central Executive, seconding calls for a boycott.
“The company has its own ideology and a mission to force the world to accept same-sex marriage. They are not striving for that only in the United States, but also in Asia — including Indonesia,” Abbas said on Sunday, July 2, as reported by Detik.
Abbas believes same-sex marriage is not a human right and is a form of deviation.
“Human rights are the right to consume decent food and drink, to have a decent life and to speak your mind. These things will make people live prosperously if they fight and get their proper rights. You can imagine if all people in the world would have a same-sex marriage, within a hundred years humans would be extinct,” he said.
He called on the Indonesian government to consider revoking Starbucks’ license as the company is spreading a dangerous ideology.
MAP Boga Adiperkasa, Starbucks’ local license holder, issued a statement emphasising the company is run independently in Indonesia and upholds local laws and norms.
“We are always following the laws and rules in Indonesia. We also respect and considerate local cultures in running our business. We are an Indonesian company that is operating the Starbucks’ license independently,” MAP Boga Adiperkasan Director Fetty Kwartati told Detik on Sunday, July 2.