Opposition to Lady Gaga expands to other cities
Sat, May 26 2012 20:54 | 1743 Views
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - A number of members of different organizations in several cities in Indonesia, including Pamekasan, Solo, Bandung and Riau, are protesting the planned June 3 Jakarta concert by US pop singer Lady Gaga.
"I think it`s no problem, if they are willing to follow our regulations."
Opposition to the concert began in Jakarta by the Islam Defenders Front (FPI). The rejection was later followed by other Islamic organizations in the capital city, such as Muhammadiyah, Muhammadiyah`s Youth, Persis, Mathlaul Anwar, and Nahdah Islamiyah, as well as in other regions.
Further, In Pamekasan, Madura Island, East Java Province, a number of students of Al-Fudholak Islamic boarding school prayed for the cancellation of the concert on Friday (May 5).
In the prayer, led by the boarding school head, KH Fudloli Mohammad Ruham, the students prayed that policymakers would not be persuaded by calls to allow the concert to be held in the country.
"Through this `istighosah` prayer, we ask Allah to strengthen the authorities, in this case the police, so they are not enticed by gifts and do not issue a permit for the concert," Ruham said.
Ruham, who is also a politician from the National Awakening Party (PKB), added that the opposition was aimed at protecting the younger generation from moral corruption, because Lady Gaga often dresses inappropriately.
Also, in Solo, Central Java Province, about 100 people gathered in Jamaah Ansharut Tauhid (JAT) Mudiriyah in front of the Surakarta police office, Friday, to express their opposition to the concert.
They carried posters that, among other things, read: "Lady Gaga Corrupts the Nation`s Morality", "Lady Gaga`s Show is Haram", "Lady Gaga is the US Culture", and "Lady Gaga`s Sex Unclear - Female or Male?".
Chairman of JAT Mudiriyah Solo Muh Sholeh Ibrahim said Lady Gaga is an icon of pornography and cultural liberalism who stands in opposition to the Constitution 1945 (UUD) and religious norms.
Preventive action must be taken to cancel the concert, which has triggered a controversy and consumed the nation`s energy, he said.
Also, in Bandung, West Java Province, some 20 members of the Islam Defenders Front (FPI) held a rally in front of the historical Asian-African building, expressing their opposition to Lady Gaga`s performance in Jakarta.
FPI Bandung Coordinator Agung Suwarjono said the organization`s members plan to travel to Jakarta on June 1, and stay until June 3, to ask the police not to issue a permit for the concert.
Further, on Sumatra Island, the Riau religious affairs office and 15 Islamic organizations in Riau provincial capital of Pekanbaru sent a letter Friday (May 25) to the Religious Affairs Ministry requesting the concert be banned.
The organizations, including the Indonesian Hajj Brotherhood (IPHI), FPI Riau, and the Indonesian Preaching Council Institution (LDII), also cited Lady Gaga as begin associated with pornography and as an icon of liberalism.
Additionally, Chairman of MUI Riau Mahdini called on Indonesia`s younger generation to not be persuaded by the Liberal Islam Network (JIL) regarding Lady Gaga`s show in Indonesia.
The Jakarta police decision to not issue a permit for the concert in the capital city has been hailed by Hasyim Muzadi, the former chairman of Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), Indonesia`s largest Islamic organization.
"The police decision not to issue the permit for the Lady Gaga concert is the right step," Hasyim said Friday.
He added that the concert would cause more disadvantages than benefits. Hasyim said the banning of Lady Gaga`s "The Born This Way Ball" concert would not violate human rights.
"Human rights cannot be used for things that are harmful and can create insecurity," he said.
Also, the Indonesian Children Protection Commission (KPAI) came out in opposition to Lady Gaga in Jakarta, citing it could cause the demoralization of children.
KPAI Deputy Chairman Asrorun Niam Sholeh criticized promoter Big Daddy for encouraging students to watch the concert by allowing them to purchase tickets by paying in installments.
The incentive could clearly demoralize the children, he said.
Meanwhile, support for Lady Gaga has been voiced by, among others, the Indonesian Youth National Committee (KNPI)`s chairman in charge of foreign relations, Abhiram Singh Yadav, saying that art and culture are part of international diplomacy and, therefore, Lady Gaga`s plan to come to Jakarta must be supported.
Moreover, if Jakarta is considered "unfriendly" to Jakarta, Bali is ready to welcome Lady Gaga, who calls herself "Mother Monster".
Chairman of the Bali Regional Legislative Council (DPRD)`s Commission II Made Arjaya said earlier that Bali was prepared to host Lady Gaga`s concert.
"Although it has been turned down in Jakarta, it`s different in Bali. We are open. Just move the concert to Bali. We are, in fact, happy because Bali will become more famous," he added.
"The visit of Lady Gaga, a singer who is famous among young people throughout the world, will help promote Bali`s tourism," Made Arjaya explained.
Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika recently said in Denpasar that he would not mind if the planned concert by Lady Gaga was moved from Jakarta to Bali, as long as police guaranteed the concert would remain secure.
"I think it`s no problem, if they are willing to follow our regulations. It should not disturb the norms existing in Bali and Indonesia," the governor said here last Tuesday, in response to suggestions that the concert be held in Bali.
In Jakarta, Ulil Abshar Abdalla, the head of the Democrat Party`s development and strategy unit, said he believed the Jakarta police would finally issue the permit for the concert, and the decision must be respected by everyone.
The permit will likely include conditions that the singer must adjust her appearance to Indonesia`s culture and the concert`s promoter must discuss this matter with Lady Gaga`s manager, said Ulil, who is also a leader of the Liberal Islam Netword (JIL).
But, foreign media quoted Lady Gaga`s manager as saying the singer has no plans to tone down her act, even if that prevents her from performing in some countries on her Asian tour.
The Straits Times newspaper of Singapore reported Friday that Troy Carter said Lady Gaga "plays the show as it is," and that she is not "provocative for the sake of being provocative."
Lady Gaga`s concert promoter Big Daddy recently said that the Jakarta concert is sold out, with fans having purchased about 50,000 tickets.
Big Daddy`s lawyer Minola Sebayang said his client had been granted permission in March by Jakarta Metropolitan Police to sell tickets.
"We obtained permission from the Jakarta Metropolitan Police to sell tickets starting March 10," he added.
Chief of Jakarta Metropolitan Police Inspector General Untung S Rajab, however, denied claims he had given permission to Big Daddy to sell tickets for Lady Gaga`s concert in Jakarta.
"We never gave permission to the promoters to sell tickets and urge them to not continue doing so before they have permission from the Indonesian Police Headquarters," Untung recently stated in Jakarta.
As the controversy continues, former president M Jusuf Kalla called on members of the public to stop making speeches and leave the matter to the police.
"The police stance is clear. As citizens, we must follow it," he said, adding that their decision should be respected.
The police recommendation not to give a permit for the concert must be respected by all parties, because it is the right step to anticipate possible chaos and commotion amid opposition to the concert by several groups, he stated.
But, National Police Chief Gen. Timur Pradopo denied reports that the police had banned the concert due to pressure from various religious organisations.
"We are still evaluating Lady Gaga`s plan to hold the concert; we are thinking of what is best for this nation, so that a decision regarding the concert will not harm the interests of the people," Timur told reporters on May 16.
Editor: Priyambodo RH
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