Coldplay concert in Indonesia protested by hundreds of anti-LGBTQ+ Muslims

Chris Martin, the leader singer of Coldplay, plays a rainbow colored piano
Chris Martin Photo: Shutterstock

Conservative Muslims turned out in the hundreds to protest a Coldplay concert in Indonesia on Wednesday over the band’s support for the LGBTQ+ community.

Agence France-Presse reports that several Muslim groups had called to cancel the sold-out show at Gelora Bung Karno stadium in Jakarta, the band’s only stop in Indonesia on its “Music of the Spheres World Tour.”

On Wednesday, between 200­–300 protesters gathered outside the venue, where they chanted, held signs reading “Reject, cancel and disband Coldplay concerts,” and accused the band of being LGBTQ+ “propagandists.” They also booed concertgoers and clashed with police.

A spokesperson for the Jakarta police said that the protesters, many of whom identified themselves as part of the “anti-LGBT movement,” did not have a permit to rally outside the stadium.

“We know that Coldplay supports LGBT, but now the question is, is the LGBT behavior in line with… our constitution?” Anwar Abbas, deputy chairman of the Indonesian Ulema Council, the country’s most powerful Islamic regulatory body, said in a statement on Wednesday. “There are six religions recognized in this country, and not one of them allows and tolerates LGBT practice.”

As LGBTQ Nation contributor Sheany noted in June, while homosexuality is not illegal under Indonesian law, the Muslim-majority country’s regional governments have the authority to enact bylaws criminalizing LGBTQ+ communities and behavior, and a rise in religious conservatism has given way to increased persecution of queer Indonesians in recent years.

According to the Associated Press, the anti-LGBTQ+ group also staged demonstrations at several locations around Jakarta last week.

Coldplay frontman Chris Martin has been known to appear onstage waving the LGBTQ+ Pride flag during concerts. In 2016, the band was accused by anti-LGBTQ+ conservatives of “promoting homosexuality” during their appearance with Beyoncé and Bruno Mars at the Super Bowl.

Earlier this year, the leader of the Malaysian Islamic Party urged the country’s government to cancel the band’s concert at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil, specifically citing Martin’s appearances with the Pride flag onstage at previous shows. Homosexuality is outlawed in the majority-Muslim nation, where Muslims are also subject to additional penalties up to capital punishment under Sharia Law.

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