Masked Muslim protestors have attacked a gay film festival in Indonesia, calling the organizers blasphemers and threatening to burn down one of the venues.
It happened in the country’s capital Jakarta, which is hosting the Q! Film Festival, now in its ninth year.
According to the Guardian, the protestors, members of the Islamic Defenders’ Front, chanted homophobic slogans as they made their threats.
The paper quotes John Badalu, the festival’s director and co-founder, as saying he and his team wanted to run the festival according to schedule.
But organizers had to admit that some screenings had been cancelled because of the Muslim threats.
“Showings at the Goethe Institute German cultural centre, which was being guarded by police, would continue, said Dinyah Latuconsina, the centre's programme assistant,” the Guardian reports. “But staff at the French cultural centre and the Japan Foundation said they would not be showing any further films.”
The paper continues: “In the past, the Islamic Defenders Front has smashed bars, attacked transvestites and targeted other groups it considers blasphemous with bamboo clubs and stones. Indonesia, a secular country of 237 million people, has more Muslims than any other country in the world. Though most are moderate and oppose violence, a small extremist fringe has become more vocal in recent years.”