Muslim groups in Malaysia and Indonesia have called for a boycott of Starbucks because of the coffee chain’s support for LGBT rights.
Malaysian group Perkasa, which supports a hard-line form of Islam and nationalism, this week called on its more than 500,000 members to stay away from Starbucks coffee shops. This week and last, leaders of Indonesia’s second largest mainstream Muslim group, Muhammadiyah, with an estimated 29 million members, denounced the chain.
The groups were apparently reacting to comments made several years ago by former CEO Howard Schultz in support of gay rights that drew renewed attention amid an increasingly anti-LGBT climate in both of the predominantly Muslim countries.
At a 2013 shareholders meeting, Schultz responded to a shareholder who thought the coffeemaker’s support for gay marriage hurt the bottom line: “Not every decision is an economic decision,” Schultz said. “The lens in which we are making that decision is through the lens of our people.”
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