Netizens ridicule logic behind celeb preacher’s ‘Muslims who buy from Starbucks will go to hell’ video

Following previous calls for Muslims to boycotts over the company’s support for LGBT rights, Starbucks once again became a focal point in Indonesia’s culture wars last week after a video in which celebrity ustad (preacher) Abdul Somad told his followers that Muslims who patronize the international coffee chain are going to hell.

The video, which was taken from a question and answer session with Somad, was originally recorded and published on Youtube back in October of last year, but went viral just last week after being reposted to social media.


In the video, Somad reads a question from one of his followers who mentioned Starbucks’ financial support for LGBT causes and asks what Islamic law would say about buying coffee there.

Somad replies saying, “Supporters of LGBT, in the afterlife it can be seen that they donated to LGBT. So when the angels ask the LGBT, how did you become so big? It’s because of these donations. Who donated to you? Those in heaven will turn back and put in hell those who donated to Starbucks.”

Somad goes on to say that there are plenty of other coffee places that do not support LGBT. He also criticized those who go to Starbucks not even to drink coffee but just for social media vanity.

Somad has gained a huge following on social media in large part due to his straightforward, down-to-earth preaching style. But, as many on social media noted, pretty much every major tech company including Twitter, Facebook and Google (which owns Youtube – the platform on which he uploaded the video to) have all stated their support for LGBT rights as well, making his and his followers’ use of those platforms more than a bit hypocritical.


Way to be a role model Somad, talking about Starbucks coffee being haram, going to hell and sinning because of their support for LGBT, Somad forget that he uploads his videos on Youtube which is one of the media that supports LGBT including Twitter, Facebook and Google.

Others netizens and media pointed out that Starbucks has outlets in the two holiest cities in Islam, Mecca and Medina, and asked if these were also portals to hell.


Somad is hardly the first religious figure in Indonesia to call for Muslims to abstain from Starbucks. In July, Yunahar Ilyas, deputy chairman of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), the country’s top Muslim clerical body, said those who supported LGBT rights and same-sex marriage were actually the ones violating human rights and joined calls by other prominent Muslim leaders to boycott the coffee retail giant.

“It is very clear that Starbucks supports this vile deed that is very contrary to Islam, it is even a form of human rights violation as it will allow for human extinction to occur,” Yunahar said as quoted by Tribunnews.

(Netizens also noted that despite the condemnation of Somad and MUI officials, Starbucks was certified halal by MUI themselves.)

Yunahar was following a call to Muslims to boycott Starbucks made by Anwar Abbas, chairman of Muhammadiyah’s economic leaders board, after he learned from a Whatsapp group chat that Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, had told a shareholder in 2013 that they could sell their stock if they were worried that the company’s support for marriage equality  stance was costing them customers.

It is not clear what, if any effect those short-lived Starbucks boycott calls had on the company’s bottom line in Indonesia, but considering how often we still have to wait in a long line to get our venti salted caramel Frappuccino fix, we’d say that they have little to worry about from Somad’s hellacious condemnation.

LGBT rights have been increasingly under attack in Indonesia in recent years. Many are worried that a new version of the country’s criminal code (RKUHP) will soon be passed that will make homosexual acts illegal (which is only one of many problems human rights activists have with RKUHP), but discussion on the bill has been delayed for now.


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