The Japan Foundation, an international cultural group taking part in Q! Film Festival, Jakarta’s LGBT film festival, halted screenings after some 100 members of the Islamic Defenders Front began protesting outside the venues, demanding an immediate halt to participating in the two-week event.
Wearing long, white robes and turbans, the protesters shouted antigay messages and carried a picture showing a man embracing another man. ‘‘During a meeting with them, the Japan Foundation executives agreed to listen to our aspiration and immediately decided to cancel the screening of the homosexual and lesbian movies,’’ said Salim bin Umar Alatas, chairman of the Jakarta branch of FPI.
Japan Foundation Jakarta, which screened one film on Monday evening, was the fourth foreign-run venue of the annual festival to be visited by the Islamic group. Earlier on the day, the activists staged protests in front of the French government-affiliated Centre Culturel Francais or CCF, the German government’s GoetheHaus and the Dutch government’s Erasmus Huis, demanding the centers stop participating in the film festival.
Of course the FPI was nice about things and sent everybody letters ahead of time to let ’em know they were coming. Sort of like Westboro Baptist does, when it puts its protest schedule on the web.