Islamic protesters have succeeded in shutting down several venues screening films at a gay film festival in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia. Britain's Guardian newspaper reported today (Wednesday) that the protesters threatened to burn down one of the venues if the screening was not canceled. Organizers of the Q! festival conceded that they had been forced to cancel some screenings that had been scheduled to take place at German and French cultural centers in the city after about 100 University of Indonesia students joined the protest organized by the group Islamic Defenders Front. In a statement on the festival's website, organizers said that it was aimed at raising awareness "about human rights, particularly from the perspective of gender and sexuality in the human identity. ... If there are parties who are not in line with the idea of this festival, we advise them to express their thoughts through discussion forums ... that allow the exchange of ideas without fear." But a spokesman for the protesters said that there could be no such discussion because homosexuality "is against the principals of Islam."
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