[16 May 2012]
JAKARTA, Indonesia — Indonesian police Tuesday said they had refused to issue a concert permit for U.S. pop star Lady Gaga, citing objections from conservative Muslim groups.
The Islamic Defenders’ Front, a group known for sometimes violent campaigns against vice, had threatened to block Lady Gaga’s planned June 3 concert, accusing her of promoting Satan worship and homosexuality.
“We made the decision after considering objections from various Muslim groups who deem that Lady Gaga’s stage act is not compatible with our culture,” national police spokesman Boy Rafli Amar said.
The decision is likely to anger local ``Little Monsters,’’ as fans of Lady Gaga are known.
More than 30,000 tickets have been sold for the concert at the Bung Karno national stadium, part of the singer’s Born This Way Ball tour.
“If it’s true that the concert has been cancelled, Indonesia is not a democracy or a country based on the rule of law,” said Semi Winarsih, a Gaga fan.
Concert promoters Big Daddy said they had not received a formal notification from the police.
“We can’t comment further because we have not received any news,” Big Daddy’s legal manager, Hanny Marpaung, was quoted as saying by the Detik.com news website.
The Twitter account of Indonesian Gaga fans criticized the police.
“Somehow the police person’s statement is irrational. They don’t descriptively point which people who object her concert here,” an account post said in English.
Lady Gaga, whose real name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, is known for her eccentric and risque outfits in videos and on stage.
The head of the Islamic Defenders’ Front, Rizieq Syihab, told local media on Saturday that Lady Gaga worshipped the devil.
“If Lady Gaga goes ahead with her concert in Indonesia, I will mobilize Muslims in Jakarta to disband it,” he was quoted as saying.
The Front, which has thousands of members, began making headlines in the early 2000s after it attacked bars and nightclubs they accused of harboring drug traffickers and prostitutes.
This month its members stopped a discussion organized by a liberal Muslim group in Jakarta attended by Canadian Muslim feminist Irshad Manji.
International acts are flocking to Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-majority country, taking advantage of its strong economy and a growing middle class with disposable income.
In the past year, pop stars such as Katy Perry, Justin Bieber and Kylie Minogue have performed in Indonesia.