Instagram removes gay Muslim comics following warning from Indonesia

Following an outrage from Indonesia, Instagram has removed an account that published comic strips depicting the struggles of gay Muslims in Indonesia. The world's biggest Muslim nation's Ministry of Communications said that the account under the username Alpatuni was pornographic, which violated the law on information and electronic transactions.

According to the Ministry, it was closed after the communications minister wrote a warning letter to Instagram.. The comics depicted gay characters facing discrimination and abuse, which has become increasingly common in Indonesia since late 2015 when conservative politicians and religious leaders began a campaign of portraying lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people as a threat to the nation. The ministry said it appreciated that members of the community reported the account, which "accelerated" its removal. An account of the same name on Facebook, which owns Instagram, was also no longer accessible.

Indonesian netizens have lauded the ministry. Fahmi Alfansi Pane, a policy analyst at the Indonesian parliament, thanked officials for acting decisively to protect public morality but also told The Associated Press he had never seen the comics. Local media, quoting the communications minister, reported the ministry would block Instagram in Indonesia if the Alpatuni account wasn't removed.