News / Asia

Hardliners Say Lady Gaga 'Too Pornographic' for Indonesia

Singer Lady Gaga poses for a photograph with a fan upon her arrival at Narita international airport in Narita, east of Tokyo May 8, 2012.
Singer Lady Gaga poses for a photograph with a fan upon her arrival at Narita international airport in Narita, east of Tokyo May 8, 2012.
Kate Lamb
JAKARTA - The backlash against the flamboyant American pop star Lady Gaga has been brewing in Indonesia for months. However, tensions over the singer's imminent concert reached a new high in Jakarta this week. After mounting pressure from hardline Islamic groups, police announced they will not issue the permit required for Lady Gaga to perform in the country. Rights groups say the decision is a step back for the world’s most populous Muslim nation.
 
In announcing their decision, Indonesian police also cited concerns over safety. The Islamic Defender’s Front,  FPI,  threatened to deploy 30,000 members to physically prevent Lady Gaga from getting off the plane.

Although the majority of Indonesia's population is decidedly moderate,  the FPI has been particularly vocal and politically influential over the past year.
 
Salim Alatas who heads FPI’s Jakarta branch,  thanked police for their efforts.
 
"We from the FPI reject the Lady Gaga concert because she will destroy the morals and culture of Indonesia," he said.  Alatas said Lady Gaga represents Satanism adding that the group would not reject her if she was not “pornographic.”
 
This week the Indonesian government warned music promoters to consider the country's culture and tradition when inviting foreign artists to perform here. The tourism ministry also emphasized that foreign performers should wear modest outfits on stage.
 
But many of Jakarta’s Western-minded young people believe hardline groups should not have the right to define their morals for them.      
 
Giat, 18, is a Jakarta student who runs a Twitter page called Lady.Gaga.Indonesia.
 
The page has 22,000 followers -" Little Monsters" as Lady Gaga fans are known - many of whom have criticized the decision.
 
“Those arguments from those people who don't like Lady Gaga aren't rational to me, actually not only to me but to all little monsters in Indonesia," Giat said. "As we know Lady Gaga never asked anyone to worship Satan so it's like they are trying to lie to the public because not everyone knows Lady Gaga, so everyone will hate Lady Gaga and the concert will be canceled. It is so ridiculous to me and all little monsters.”
 
Despite allegations that the pop star would tarnish Indonesia’s moral fiber, she has plenty of fans in Jakarta. More than 52,000 tickets were purchased in advance, making the sold-out show her biggest in Asia.
 
Lady Gaga’s local promoter, Big Daddy productions, says it is still trying to persuade authorities to issue the permit, but rights groups say the damage to Indonesia’s tolerant Islamic image is done.
 
Human Rights Watch Asia deputy director Elaine Pearson says hardline groups like the FPI are becoming increasingly aggressive.
 
“It used to be that they would only go after the minorities like the Ahmadiyah but increasingly over the last couple of years we have seen more attacks against Christian churches and so on," Pearson said. "I think now the fact they are even taking on the Lady Gaga concert shows that there are very emboldened by the failure if the state to really rein in their activities. They really want to control what people can do and see in Indonesia.”
 
Lady Gaga’s “Born this Way Ball” world tour includes stops in Bangkok, Manila, Tapei, Hong Kong and South Korea.

And there have been culture clashes in those places too.

Conservative groups in South Korea complained about Lady Gaga’s skimpy costumes, leading authorities to ban minors from attending her recent show. Several of the pop singer’s tunes are banned in China.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: antonio from: Salinas
May 21, 2012 11:38 AM
i think laddy g should stop making music shes not good at all n besides shes evil she should not be making those videos that make little kids become bad

by: Soonthorn from: Cholburi,Thailand
May 19, 2012 5:39 AM
In Thailand,It is said that Lady Gaga will have concert on May 25.And
du
ring that time,there were the auspicious holy Buddhist celebration
of two events namely: 2600 Buddhajayanti celebration and Vesak.
uptill now I myself have not yet see indicator-issues to disturb.It maybe happen near the event.I myself disagree this show. It should be postponed on the proper time.

by: chuchu from: philippines
May 17, 2012 8:24 PM
I love lady gaga's songs but i hate the videos. It's very satanic. Her videos are becoming more and more liberated and satanic! We don't like that. >:

by: Muhammad Yasin from: Indonesia
May 17, 2012 10:03 AM
after seeing some comments I cann't understand saying of some young indonesia people Iam also young Indonesia people but I am not addicted to wanting Lady Gaga comes to Indonesia I think what old Indonesia people say it's truly loving, remember we live in east culture and Lady Gaga isn't suitable for us

by: nero from: shanghai
May 16, 2012 11:30 PM
Though I am not Islamic,the stance to me is 110% correct. We should NEVER be carried away by winds of satanism in the name of intertainment.Our future generations need to be shepherded towards a morally-right future.

by: Justin from: Vermont
May 16, 2012 12:17 PM
She should fly into the stadium via helicopter and perform with a bulletproof vest. I'm sure she would if she could... she's so dedicated to her fans and making sure that things go her way.

by: Monis from: Pakistan
May 16, 2012 11:37 AM
Indonesia has every right to protect its religion and culture.

by: Marie from: Jakarta, Indonesia
May 16, 2012 11:16 AM
To be honest, as one of Moslem youths in Indonesia, I don't see how the heck Lady Gaga's coming to Indonesia will demoralize young people here. Because, even without Lady G, many of them are already badly behaved. Giving birth out of wedlock. Gambling and getting drunk every night. Stabbing bypasers just for a wad of cash. All of their actions are against Islamic teachings already. So please, FPI aka THE hardline Islamic Group: STOP MAKING LADY GAGA AS A BLACKSHEEP! It's moronic and reflecting your capacity as less human being. Leave her alone. I, myself, am going to watch her concert. And guess what? I'm still doing the 5-time daily pray, annual fasting, and so much more. We're all grown up, we can choose which things from our idol that shouldn't have been followed and which ones are okay. Note that down! ;)

by: lucy from: dc
May 16, 2012 10:39 AM
Religious Tolerance should not be applied against a singer/entertainer

by: Lenett from: Lawson Mo.
May 16, 2012 9:56 AM
Good! Get the H out of there they are nut's Must have been someone on the higher up food chain that made them stop the Concert. Lenett Morgan Waite

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs