While the police have apparently bowed to the so-called public pressure to ban the upcoming Lady Gaga’s concert in Jakarta, an official from the Indonesia’s largest Muslim organization thinks that the move is “too much”.
Muhammad Imdadun Rahmat, deputy-secretary-general of Nahdlatul Ulama, told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday that he was against the police’s decision to ban the Grammy-award winning singer’s performance in Jakarta.
“The police should not have gone as far as banning the concert. They should not intervene against the freedom of expression,” he said.
He was responding to the Jakarta Police’s decision to recommending the National Police withhold the permit for Gaga’s concert on June 3 at Bung Karno Stadium in Senayan, Central Jakarta.
The concert is one of the first stops on Lady Gaga’s world tour titled “The Born This Way Ball”, which is slated to run from April to October.
The singer and songwriter, famous for her unconventional fashion sense, has received backlash from hard-liner groups such as the notorious Islam Defenders Front (FPI), who accuse the performer of spreading “Satanic verses” through her music.
Commenting on this, Imdadun said that the accusation were an exaggeration.
However he added that the government should call on the singer to tone down her so-called sexually provocative behavior on-stage, saying that the singer – and other artists –must nevertheless respect the country’s culture.
Last week, the FPI's Jakarta branch chief, Habib Salim Alatas said that he would deploy FPI members to intercept the singer upon her arrival at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang.
“We refuse to have Lady Gaga’s feet touch our land. She’s bringing the faith of Satan to our country and will thus destroy the nation’s morals,” he told the Post.
During her April 27 concert in Seoul, rallying conservative Christian groups condemned Lady Gaga – who won a total of five Grammy Awards, three of them at last year’s event – for supporting homosexuality and pornography. (asa/iwa)