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Indonesia: Lady Gaga's Concert Permit Denied

Categories: East Asia, Indonesia, Arts & Culture, Freedom of Speech, Music, Youth

After being pressured by conservative politicians and hardline groups, which branded Lady Gaga as a devil worshiper, the Indonesian police announced that it won't issue a permit to the highly anticipated Lady Gaga concert in Jakarta, leaving over 50,000 fans disappointed.

@HeyPotterhead [1]: Lady Gaga's concert better not be cancelled. I did NOT fell in line for 8 hours for nothing! Stupid FPI #IndonesiaSavesGaga #BTWBallGBK

FPI or the Islamic Defenders Front is an influential religious group which often campaigns against ‘anti-Islamic’ activities and ideas. In this particular case, Lady Gaga was accused of corrupting the morality of young Indonesians.

One of the promotional merchandise items of the Lady Gaga concert. From the twitpic page of @youngdancers [2]

One of the promotional merchandise items of the Lady Gaga concert. From the twitpic page of @youngdancers

Lady Gaga fans, who were called ‘little monsters’, have criticized the government's decision:

@ginaignasia [3]: Apa hak nya. Gue yang nabung&cari calo susah2, nyekal2 seenaknya. #IndonesiaSavesGaga #GagaIsAmazing #monsterpower #BurnFPIdown

@ginaignasia [3]: What right do they have. I'm the one who have been saving up; looking hard for scalpers, then you suddenly ban the concert.

@akibaryou [4]: Save Mother Monster! Save the freedom of expression! The cancellation is proof of how our country has lost its priority.#IndonesiaSavesGaga!

@Ray_owl [5]: FPI is embarrassing Indonesia internationally! #IndonesiaSavesGaga RT @lanaaisya: FPI is being a hypocrite. #saveladygaga

@NickyYuventius [6]: Yang bikin gue bingung adalah polisi yg beralasan gaga itu porno. APA KABAR KONSER DANGDUT? PREEEET!

@NickyYuventius [6]: What I found odd was the police giving an excuse saying that Gaga (act) is pornographic. What about dangdut concerts?

Dangdut, an Indian influenced folk music, is very popular in Indonesia. The dance moves of Dangdut performers are oftentimes sexy and erotic.

Meanwhile, the Christian Indonesian Church Council (PGI) supported [7] the concert arguing that it's a part of the country's freedom of expression.

Not all politicians found Lady Gaga's performance racy. Lawmaker Ahmad Basarah, who is a Muslim, told [8] newspaper The Jakarta Globe that the national police should be fair when it comes to protecting the nation's values, whether it's against liberal-capitalistic ideas or Middle Eastern ideologies.

Here are more reactions on Twitter:

@danielvk [9]: Religious mafia manipulates democracy & freedom to rob the freedom of others. Don't tolerate intolerance! #saynotohate #indonesiasavesgaga

@DanielZiv [10]: It's not a matter of #IndonesiaSavesGaga, it's more like whether Gaga can save Indonesia.And really, Indonesia needs to save itself from this extremist nonsense, Gaga or no Gaga.