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Dozens of Islamic hard-liners protested against an international gay film festival in Indonesia's capital Tuesday, forcing the cancellation of several screenings.
The Q! Film Festival, being held at foreign cultural centres in Jakarta, opened last week and was slated to run until Wednesday night. In its ninth year, it aims to raise awareness of gay issues.
Members of the hardline Islamic Defenders Front — some wearing masks, white robes and turbans — chanted anti-gay slogans and said the movies were blasphemous.
Showings at the Goethe Institute of Germany, which was being guarded by police, would not be disrupted, said Dinyah Latuconsina, the centre's program assistant.
But the French Cultural Center and Japan Foundation decided to halt remaining screenings.
Indonesia, a secular country of 237 million people, has more Muslims than any other country in the world. Though most are moderate and oppose violence, a small extremist fringe has become more vocal in recent years.
The Islamic Defenders Front has in the past smashed bars, attacked transvestites and went after those it considered blasphemous with bamboo clubs and stones.
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