08/11/2007, 00.00
INDONESIA
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Islamic fundamentalists against Miss Universe “symbol of adultery”

by Mathias Hariyadi
Protest by radical Muslims in Bandung forces Miss Universe to cancel a charity evening. The protesters consider her “against Sharia”. Minorities and moderate Muslims warn: there is a growing campaign in act to unite Islam to the Arab world and create a state along Saudi lines.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – Islamic fundamentalists have protested against the presence of Miss Universe 2007 in Bandung, judged to be “a symbol of the world’s adultery and pornography”. Frightened by these threats the Japanese native Miss Universe Riyo Mori, cancelled a charity evening which was to have taken place today. Organiser of the fund raising, Azfauri Aziz, made the announcement stating that the young woman suffered “psychological stress, following a strong protest and decided to remain in her hotel” where the event was to have taken place.

Hundreds protested yesterday in Bandung, West Java, where various fundamentalist Islamic groups are operative and often promote openly anti-Christian campaigns.  Among those taking part in the anti Miss Universe protest: the Islamic Youth Movement (GPI), the Bandung Adultery Watchdog (BMW), and the Indonesian Muslim Student’s Movement Unity (KAMMI). Under the name of the Alliance of Anti Porno-Action and Pornography, these protesting groups claimed that the beauty pageant’s presence in Bandung “is totally against the spirit of the capital which put moral values as the main and basic way of life in this provincial capital.” Asep Syarifudin, the BMW Chief, “Warmly welcoming her that means that Bandung has legitimately accepted the practices of adultery and pornography”. As in other demonstrations “against events which violate Sharia”, before taking to the streets the protesters gathered at the Al Ukhuwah Great Mosque.

Yesterdays protest is not an isolated event and once again underlines attempts to introduce Islamic Law into the world’s most populous Muslim nation.  In Indonesia the Islamic rooted Prosperous Justice (PKS) continues to support a controversial anti-pornography bill, which sanctions as illegal all acts considered “sexually provocative”. For their part, the religious and ethnic minorities as well as moderate Muslims warn: this proposed law is the first step towards the creation of an Islamic State along Saudi lines and totally opposes the Constitution which defines Indonesia as a secular state, as does a long tradition of tolerance and pluralism in society.  According to Lily Zarkiyah Miner, a Muslim intellectual, attempts are a foot to conform Islam and identify it with the Arab world.

 

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