Issue: Beginning of the end for our civil liberties?
May 30, p. 30
Indonesia may have lost a lot more than the opportunity to see Lady Gaga when she canceled her June 3 concert in Jakarta last weekend.
The episode could mark the beginning of the end for Indonesia’s civil liberties as radical groups continue unabated in their assault on the nation’s freedoms.
Those who care about their freedom should speak up and fight to defend it rather than busily trying to distance themselves from Lady Gaga and whatever it is they believe she represents through her songs and stage appearances. (By Endy Bayuni, The Jakarta Post)
There are two issues here: One is Lady Gaga and the other is freedom.
One thing for sure is that the culture that Lady Gaga promotes is alien to us Indonesians. We do not like the way she behaves and we do not like the way she dresses. She does not know what is a good or bad influence, or the defective culture she is promoting. All she knows is entertainment and profitability.
The other thing is freedom. There is no such thing as absolute freedom. Absolute freedom is destructive. Freedom has to be maintained within certain boundaries and constraints. And those boundaries and constraints are defined by our values, traditions and culture.
While we may disagree, myself included, with the fanaticism of the Islam Defenders Front (FPI), the views that they put forward have to be considered and weighed against what the majority of Indonesians want. If the majority wants Islam and its values to prevail, so be it. After all, that is what democracy is all about.
Please do not compare Saudi Arabia and Indonesia. Indonesia is a democratic country while Saudi Arabia is not. And we are proud of Indonesia and her democratic achievements.
Well, you basically need to educate the people. Millions of Indonesians live in villages. The only values they know are traditional values. Millions of others are wealthier and middle class; they don’t really care.
The politicians don’t care either because they just want to get votes. A key solution for this is there needs to be a new political party that stands up for human rights and multiculturalism as their prime pillars.
Such a party won’t win the election, but it can work effectively to put those things high on the national agenda. Currently, this is what we urgently need.
I agree to the canceling of the Lady Gaga concert if the risk of an attack from radical groups was high. From a Muslim perspective, the personality of Lady Gaga is contradictive of Islamic values and the actions of Lady Gaga action were seen to have underestimated Islamic values.
Because of that, it was objective of the FPI and others to attack the Lady Gaga concert. In this context, it is not related to civil liberties in Indonesia.
The end of Indonesia began with the sly introduction of so-called “sharia-based bylaws”.
There is no freedom without a responsibility and respect for others. If you go to someone’s house and start to do as you like because you believe that you have the freedom of expression.
It will not surprise me that the very same person, who holds the same belief, will throw you out of the house because of your lack of character and self-respect.
What we need is understanding! There is no more understanding in Indonesia. And most of our people see the reality but just can’t accept it because of their morals, dogma and other values that they know.
Lady Gaga is a defender of the LGBTQ and this is the reason why she was rejected by the “silent majority”. Fanaticism by the Islam Defenders Front (FPI) is acceptable but on the other hand, we can’t blame them 100 percent.
We also have our role in this dilemma. Come on, let us see through ourselves, contemplate and become a free people without denying our value as Indonesians.
If the hard-liners really won, I would be the first man to “abandon ship” and migrate to another country to start a whole new life all over again from the very beginning. What a tragedy!