Instagram deletes gay Muslim comic strip after Indonesia outrage

The social media company is acquiescing to sharia law

Instagram on Wednesday (Feb 13) shut down an account that published comic strips about the struggles of a gay Muslim in Indonesia after it sparked a backlash in the world’s biggest Islamic nation.

The move comes after Indonesia’s communications ministry sent a letter to the social media giant warning that the “pornographic” content violated an electronic information law.

The now-deleted account, which had about 6,000 followers, published a dozen posts depicting a gay Muslim man named Alpantuni who talked about discrimination and his life in a conservative family.

“My family is very religious. I have to pray five times a day, but I’ve got a secret,” the character said in one strip that has since been deleted.

“I’m very pious in front of others, but in private I’m gay.”

Homosexuality is not illegal in Indonesia – except in Aceh province under the region’s Islamic law – but a backlash against the vulnerable LGBT community is growing and same-sex relationships are widely frowned upon.