09:46 GMT21 January 2021
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    The account was deleted after the Indonesian government reported it for distributing pornographic content. Although homosexuality is legal in most of Indonesia, the country's government has stepped up its crackdown on the online activities of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender groups.

    At the request of Indonesian authorities, Instagram has taken down an account which shared comic content about gay Muslims.

    According to the state-run Antara news agency, the request came from Communication and Information Minister Rudiantara after the ministry received complaints from the public.

    Rudiantara threatened to go after Instagram if the platform didn't ban the account for apparently violating the national law on the distribution of pornographic content.

    "The Ministry of Communication and Information appreciates those who have participated in reporting the alPatuni account through the report feature on Instagram, which speeds up the takedown process," said ministry spokesman Ferdinandus Setu.

    The account in question, now unavailable, was named alPantuni and featured self-drawn comics in English and Indonesian about the life of a practising Muslim in Indonesia.

    The posts were swarmed with angry comments which labelled the comics insulting to religious feelings and promoting hatred toward Muslims.

    Indonesia, which is home to the world's biggest Muslim population, does not have a specific law banning homosexual relations, with the province of Aceh, which is ruled by Sharia law, being the only exception.

    However, the Indonesian parliament has been considering proposals to criminalise gay sex, and in November, the city of Pariaman passed legislation stipulating fines for people performing "acts that are considered LBGT".

    Google and Apple have also bowed to Indonesia's requests to pull LGBT-related apps, such as Grindr, from their online stores in the country for allegedly violating their cultural norms and pornography laws.

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    Tags:
    comics, pornography, Muslims, gay, Instagram, Indonesia
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