Gay Muslim comic account disappears from Instagram after ‘request’ from government

An Instagram user who described himself as a Gay Muslim and was posting comics about struggles of Muslim Gays in Muslim-majority Indonesia has his account allegedly shut down by the social media giant.

Instagram denied that the popular account, opened in November 2018, and amassed more than 5000 followers, was removed by it. The social media giant claimed that the account being inaccessible also means that the account holder deleted or deactivated the account or changed the account username.

But government’s Communications and Information Ministry says that the account of the Gay Muslim user was removed following its request, stated a newspaper named Antara.

Jakarta police are in hot pursuit of the account holder as same-sex relations are a taboo in the conservative country even as claims surfaced that the account holder could be from Malaysia.

‘LGBT behavior’ was banned by the city of Pariaman on Sumatra island in November 2018 and a fine of 1 million rupiah was also approved to be levied on those who display this behaviour and disturb the ‘public order’.

But if you thought that being a Gay Muslim in a conservative country was trouble, don’t forget what Jared Leto said about ‘open’ Hollywood.

The struggle for LGBTQ is as real as it gets.

Namta Gupta