Governor Anies Baswedan revokes permits for 12 Holywings outlets amid Muhammad controversy

A Holywings outlet in PIK, North Jakarta. Photo: Instagram/@holywingsindonesia
A Holywings outlet in PIK, North Jakarta. Photo: Instagram/@holywingsindonesia

The Jakarta Provincial Government has revoked the operational permits of all 12 Holywings outlets in the capital, as the popular chain of nightlife establishments continues to feel the aftershocks of a blasphemy scandal.

The city’s Integrated Investment Services Agency made the announcement yesterday evening, in which it said that the permit revocation was carried out under Governor Anies Baswedan’s order to act sternly towards Holywings.

On paper, however, the justification for the revocation did not explicitly have anything to do with the blasphemy scandal. According to the city’s Tourism and Creative Economy Agency, a recent audit of Holywings’ bars and clubs found that all had violated various administrative requirements.

One such violation was the serving of alcoholic beverages on-site, which goes against Holywings’ retail-only license for selling alcohol.

Holywings has 36 bars and clubs throughout Indonesia listed on its official website, with a beach club in Bali under construction. Many of the chain’s outlets are located in Jakarta’s satellite cities such as Tangerang and Bogor, though it remains to be seen if they would be shut as a result of the controversy as well.

Further away from the capital, Holywings venues in Surabaya and Makassar have been closed until further notice amid pressure from conservative groups.

On a promotional social media post last week, Holywings promised a bottle of gin for men named Muhammad and for women named Maria every Thursday. The post sparked intense religious outrage in the Muslim-majority nation, prompting the arrest of six employees management said had acted independently and were thus solely responsible for creating and posting the promo. 

Amid ongoing pressure to shut down Holywings entirely, the chain has pleaded with the public to think about the fate of its 3,000 employees and their families.

More on the Holywings scandal

This free drinks for Muhammad promo didn’t go down well in Indonesia

Muhammad drinks promo fallout: Holywings says fate of 3,000 employees may be on the line amid pressure to close

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