Renowned Bar Offers Free Drinks for 'Muhammad' and 'Maria'

Diana Mariska
A Holywings outlet in Kemang, South Jakarta. (Photo: Arga Pramudita)
A Holywings outlet in Kemang, South Jakarta. (Photo: Arga Pramudita) - Holywings, renowned bar and nightclub in Indonesia with dozens of outlets across many cities, has recently caused controversy after making a promotional campaign to offer free alcoholic beverages for customers who are named with religious names Muhammad and Maria.

In the campaign, the nightclub offers a bottle of dry gin for every Muhammad and Maria who visits their outlets on Thursday.

It quickly drew attention and sparked reactions as both names are religious names and deemed sacred among Muslims and Christians.

And on Friday, June 24, the management of Holywings posted their apology in an Instagram post, saying the management board wasn’t made aware of the promotion prior to it being aired, and that the promotional team had been penalized.

“In regards to our (Holywings Indonesia) viral post about a promotion using ‘Muhammad’ and ‘Maria’ names, we have taken action against the promotion team, who created the promotion without the knowledge of management, with severe punishment,” the statement read.

“It wasn’t our intention to use religious elements as part of our promotion.”

Holywings, however, ended up being reported to the police by a group of advocates under Himpunan Advokat Muda Indonesia, or HAMI.

One of the lawyers Sunan Kalijaga revealed the group had reported Holywings to the Greater Jakarta Metropolitan Police for blasphemy, and spokesperson for Jakarta Police has also confirmed the report.

Islamic organization Muhammadiyah has also commented on the matter, saying the marketing strategy used by Holywings indeed shouldn’t have incorporated religious elements.

“For me, it’s unethical and irritating that a name, which is the symbol of Islam, is used in vain,” chairman of Muhammadiyah Central Board Dadang Kahmad said.

Local community group in Jakarta, Bamus Betawi, has also expressed their anger and accused management of deliberately provoking members of the public, especially Muslims, with their campaign.

“I don’t think this is a mistake, but [it’s] rather intentionally done to cause uproar and conflict in the public,” Bamus Betawi leader Riano P Ahmad said.

Tag # bar in jakarta # holywings indonesia # indonesia religious issues # nightclub jakarta # restaurants in jakarta # jakarta metro police # holywings # alcoholic beverages

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