In a discusson organized by the non government organization, Arus Pelangi, Muslim scholars cited the Koran in order to cite reasons why homosexual behavior is recognized as being consistent with the Muslim faith. Siti Musdah Mula, of the Indonesia Conference of Religions and Peace, cited the Koran’s al-Hujurt(49.3) as indicating “there is no difference between lesbians and nonlesbians in the eyes of God, people are valued on the basis of their piety.” Many speakers at the meeting said the significance of Islam is a receptivity to divergent beliefs. Another speaker pointed out “Indonesian culture has accepted homosexuality. The homosexual group in Bugis-Makassar tradition called Bissu is respected and given a high position in the kingdom.”
Many in the Western world tend to accept the views of radical militants as representing those of the majority of Muslims. Nations like Indonesia which contains the largest Muslim group in the world are ignored even though their approach to religion is more open and tolerant because it doesn’t fit into the stereotype of bomb throwing militants.