KUALA LUMPUR, July 2 ― Malay rights group Pribumi Perkasa Malaysia has urged Muslims nationwide to boycott Starbucks today over a four year-old quote by its then chief executive supporting the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.
Just a day after Muslim hardliners in Indonesia made the same call, the group also urged authorities to cancel the international coffee chain’s operating licence, together with other “pro-LGBT” firms, naming tech giant Microsoft as an example.
“Perkasa urges Muslims in this country to boycott Starbucks because this United States-based international coffee chain supports LGBT and same-sex marriage,” the group’s Islamic affairs bureau chief Amini Amir Abdullah said in a statement.
“Perkasa also urges the government to reevaluate the trading licence given to companies that support same-sex marriages and LGBT,” he added.
Amini said his statement was allegedly based on a report that Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz supports same-sex marriage and LGBT.
It is unsure which report he was referring to, but Schultz, who is now chairman, had in 2013 told anti-gay shareholders to sell their stocks if they are opposed to diversity.
Schultz made the remark in response to criticism over the firm’s support for Washington's state's referendum backing gay marriage in 2012.
Amini’s call came a day after Anwar Abbas of Muhammadiyah, an Indonesian Islamic group, urged the republic’s government to revoke Starbucks' operating licence since its LGBT stand is “not in line” with the nation's ideology.
Reuters reported PT Sari Coffee Indonesia, the chain’s licence holder there, saying it is a legal entity that “always obeys the prevailing regulations and appreciates the cultural values in Indonesia”.
Starbucks is a regular target for seasonal boycott by Muslims here, but the boycotts rarely last.
In 2014, Muslim NGOs had called for a concerted boycott against Starbucks, fast food franchise McDonald’s, and British bank HSBC for allegedly “lending their support to Zionist Israel”.