Jakarta (AsiaNews) - "Pop"
music lovers in Indonesia
are at war, following the statement
issued today by the Ulema Council (MUI), which has branded the Lady Gaga
concert, scheduled in the coming months as "haram" - forbidden - and morally
Islamic organization plays a role of "observer" of manners and morals
in the archipelago and several times in the past, has intervened in the debate
with public stances that have sparked heated debate. Among
others, in March 2011 they railed against the flag-raising "because
Muhammad never did so", before they had launched anathemas against the
popular social network Facebook deemed
"amoral" against yoga, smoking and the right to vote, especially for women.
Khalil Radwan, executive member of the MUI said that "no Indonesian Muslims" should attend the concert of the U.S. pop-star, in June in Jakarta, because her gestures and clothing exhibited on the stage are contrary to morality and reprehensible. "My opinion - adds the leader of the Ulema - is based solely on religious tradition. [She] is too sexy on stage, this could induce a carnal desire among people of different sexes." Consequently, Khalil Ridwan continues, we would see a "moral drift of the nation and its people."
The strict clampdown has provoked the reaction of thousands of Indonesian music lovers, who have not hidden their anger and outrage at the words of the Islamic leader. "Music is music," they say in a loud voice, "it has nothing to do with the desires of the flesh." Some used irony, like Ulil Abshar Abdalla, a leader of the Islamic Liberal Network movement, declaring: "as far as I know, it is 'haram' to see the show without a ticket."
The U.S. performance artist Lady Gaga - whose real name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta - has sold millions of albums around the world and is scheduled to appear at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in central Jakarta on June 3. All 44 thousand tickets have already been sold and the concert is already declared "sold out". The date in Indonesia is part of a larger tour in Southeast Asia for the next few months. The singer's entourage are aware that, for the exhibition, she will wear a dress "suited" to the host country.