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Dialogue and Universalism

Volume 27, Issue 1, 2017

Values and Ideals. Theory and Practice: Part II

Hisanori Kato
Pages 103-115

Sexual Minorities in Indonesia
The Clash between Muslim Fundamentalists and Liberals

The social acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) is recently widely debated. Although some Western countries have taken a more favourable course towards these minority groups, we still see a certain level of resistance to same sex marriage and discrimination against LGBT even in normally regarded liberal societies. Islam, which is often believed to clash with so-called Western values, regards LGBT as abhorrent and even apostate. However, we see a new endeavour of LGBT people in the most Muslim populous country in the world, Indonesia. This paper explores the treatment of these minorities in Islam, including the possibility of co-existence of all humans in a future. For this purpose, we consider the activities of this Islamic school in Indonesia and the life history of the students. We also examine both the pro and con of the religious standpoint of the ulamas. We especially pay attention to some of the ulama’s attempts to create a new fiqh (a legal standard for religious rituals and obligations) to accept LGBT.