Radio Freethinker

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Lady Gaga’s Bra and Panties Too Much for Indonesian Muslims

Posted by Ethan Clow on May 27, 2012

It turns out that one of the most religious countries in the world isn’t very open-minded about the flamboyant Lady Gaga. Yes, Indonesia, consistently ranked as one of the most religious countries in the world, recently was the scene for a concert cancellation by the popular pop singer Lady Gaga.

She was supposed to do a concert in the capital Jakarta on June 3, 2012. However for the past month there were big concerns by the local authorities as well as her concert producers of the security threat that she would face and the potential danger that could be caused to the local area if violence occurred.

The problems began when Gaga started planning for her “Born This Way Ball” tour for the city of Jakarta, which was going to be her largest concert in Asia. Indonesian Council of Ulema (MUI) chairman Cholil Ridwan, who is a high ranking member of Indonesia’s Muslim authorities, claimed that Gaga’s concert was “intended to destroy the nation’s morality,” and compared her show to a harem.

Won’t someone think of the children?

Things got worse when M. Mahendradatta, of the Islamic Defenders Front, a hard line conservative hate group known for violent attacks, suggested that Gaga promoted Satanism and:

“She’s a vulgar singer who wears only panties and a bra when she sings and she stated she is the envoy of the devil’s child and that she will spread satanic teaching…We will stop her from setting foot on our land. She had better not dare spread her satanic faith in this country. Her style is vulgar, her sexual and indecent clothes will destroy our children’s sense of morality. She’s very dangerous.” – source

Fearing also the corruption of innocent young Indonesians, he also said:

“Whether you like it or not, Lady Gaga teaches [fans] to worship the devil,” he said. “That goes against the teachings of any religion. We don’t approve of that.” –source

This prompted the Jakarta police to consider canceling the show. They were obviously concerned that the concert could provoke violence but apparently Gaga’s wardrobe might also violate the nations laws on pornography as well. There was some communication between concert organizers and the authorities but ultimately a compromise couldn’t be reached and now, officially, the concert was cancelled.

I have to admit that I respect Gaga’s decision on this. Here’s why: She could have majorly toned down her performance (as other singers have done in order to get a concert permit) she could have not sung certain songs or worn more conservative clothing… but even if she had agreed to all these stipulations, there was no guarantee that she would have gotten approval for her concert and more importantly, she would have gotten no guarantee that there wouldn’t be violence from religious radicals anyway.

She could have stuck to her guns and gone ahead with the concert (someone getting a permit) and risked violence against herself and her fans.

She could have compromised her ethics and artistic integrity (and probably made lots of money off those tickets that nearly sold out in the first week they were available) but instead she chose not to. She’s disappointed her fans in Jakarta, but she may have prevented a disaster. She also promised to do something “special” for them via twitter.

So overall, she kept her integrity, kept her ethics, didn’t compromise the things that made her famous and wealthy for a bit more wealth… and she recognized that her impact had she gone ahead anyway could have been dangerous.

Best, she made the idiots and bullies look like idiots and bullies.

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