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Lady Gaga Cancels Show In Response to Fundamentalist Threats

Lady Gaga Cancels Show In Response to Fundamentalist Threats

Pop singer Lady Gaga announced today that she was canceling a planned concert in the Indonesian capitol of Jakarta following protests and threats from Islamic groups. With the police refusing to issue a permit for the event unless Lady Gaga promised to censor her show, and the hardline Islamic Defenders Front threatening to “burn the stage” if the show went on at all, the singer’s management decided that the only way to address their security concerns was to pull the plug.

While Indonesia is a secular country, it has a large Muslim population. Officially, the country is considered politically moderate. This conflict only highlights growing concerns in the region about the increasing influence of hardline Islamic groups, who have spent recent years pushing more and more restrictive laws and attacking “enemies of Islam,” including Christians and Muslim minorities. Just this month, the FBI and similar groups have been implicated in attacking a Muslim gay rights advocate and assaulting Protestants with bags of urine and rocks outside their church. The police have done little to sanction them.

Despite the strong bastions of Islamic conservatism within the country, there are also many Indonesian fans of the controversial and unabashedly liberal performer; over 50,000 people bought tickets to the much-anticipated event. Promoters have promised refunds to everyone who hoped to attend the show.

Habib Salim Alatas, the FPI’s Jakarta spokesman, has called Lady Gaga “the devil’s messenger.” He told the AFP news agency, “FPI is grateful that she has decided not to come. Indonesians will be protected from sin brought about by this Mother Monster, the destroyer of morals.”

He addressed disappointed fans directly as well, telling them: “Lady Gaga fans, stop complaining. Repent and stop worshipping the devil. Do you want your lives taken away by God as infidels?”

Indonesia’s Religious Affairs Minister, Suryadharma Ali, issued a less inflammatory media statement, saying he believed the cancelation would benefit the country, and that “Indonesians need entertainment and art which have moral values.”

Lady Gaga has apologized via Twitter to her disappointed Indonesian fans, telling them she is “devastated” by the need to cancel the concert. In response to the FPI’s charges of blasphemy, she had only this to say: “There is nothing Holy about hatred.”

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Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

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10:29AM PDT on Sep 2, 2012

Lady Gaga made the right decision to cancel the concerts. Not only for her own safety, but for all the fans that bought tickets. They could have been attacked by the fanatic muslims and it could have been a lot of people injured. Too bad that religious fanatics need to hate so many to keep their status.
Someone comment that this is a non-issue since the ice caps are melting. One thing doesn't exclude another. I love her songs and would love to see her live some day. That doesn't mean I'm uninterested in enviromental issues. I'm on Care2! Am also active on other sites with similar content. But life is not just activism. As Emma Goldman said: If I can't dance, it's not my revolution!

11:48AM PDT on Jul 2, 2012

The pseudo neo-con fundamentalsit christains are a dangerous bunch of fanatics who should be placed quickly out of their crazy misery.

11:48AM PDT on Jul 2, 2012

The pseudo neo-con fundamentalsit christains are a dangerous bunch of fanatics who should be placed quickly out of their crazy misery.

11:48AM PDT on Jul 2, 2012

The pseudo neo-con fundamentalsit christains are a dangerous bunch of fanatics who should be placed quickly out of their crazy misery.

1:42PM PDT on Jun 2, 2012

Clearly, performances and artists and individual actions can be objected to, or appreciated, depending upon one's level of development and tastes, preferences. However, threats to take a life whether based upon religious perceptions or any other thing in our minds that prompts this is definitely going far over the line, and is against life, against the Sacred Spirit! It is hypocrisy to accuse one of being "infidel" for such trivial reasons when threatening their lives or safety. How can any of the "Godly" or "Allah"-praising people assume that the harmful, oppressive, freedom-taking, dangerous and threatening, separating deeds and thoughts they commit against living beings is going to be honored in the spiritual realms? Women and men have been singing and dancing always. To me and to my highly intelligent friends, Madonna and all those who imitate her have destroyed music and stage performance, as music pre-Madonna was not Ego and Exhibitionism but something that sourced from a higher place and provided us with more valuable experiences. Post-Madonna it is just eye-rolling crap that I can not bear to watch or listen to. However, the most profane thing of all is to threaten to remove the soul from a person or sentient being, whether or not they flaunt sexuality and spectacle over other levels of our consciousness on stage. After all, all beings are given the right of FREE WILL, SELF-DETERMINATION...we are FREE to express ourselves, to a point, artistically in public,

9:45AM PDT on May 31, 2012

LD and David, you both really said exactly what needed to be acknowledged, and most impressive you each only needed a sentence to do so. Point; while the Tea Party thrives(thanks to all the rednecks, and some with very deep pockets), the right/government has managed to silence the occupy movements. The comments were always that there was no clear agenda, or list of goals. Anyone interested in coming together and doing just that. The right would really hate it, and Care2 members are a great group of people. It is the perfect platform to discuss/determine re-energizing the movement, and we can all contribute to determining the platform- one that will engage people, and infuriate(they are always pissed off anyway!) the right, they've pulled out all the stops, with the undeniable goal for 'us' to not be organized, and hate us for being real- in other words nothing like the Tea Party........... Care2 has over 20,000,000. members, I wonder how many of you will read/respond? There is a saying down South;"You can either run with the big dogs, or sit on the porch (so to speak)", it'll be interesting to see how many people want to make a difference, and respond to this posting.

7:54PM PDT on May 30, 2012

did i miss it? what is this blond twits claim on our attention? cool sunglasses? fab nail polish? meanwhile, back in reality, the ice caps are melting

4:46PM PDT on May 30, 2012

The poll question asks whether a concert should be shut down because of religious objections. The issue here was canceling a concert because of death threats against the performer, not simply a religious group having objections.

3:32PM PDT on May 30, 2012

It appears Jakarta is having the same challenges with fundamentalist Muslims that the U.S. is having with fundamentalist Christians.

2:16PM PDT on May 30, 2012

I think countries including the USA need to decide whether they are going to enforce the fact that they are secuar or not; and those that do need to make sure they have clear definition of the separation of government and religious organization. Then those religious organization should be MADE to stay out of the affairs of state and stick to their relgious houses. Every citizen should have absolute freedom, with no fear of intimadation from anyone, to practice any religion they chose or none at all. This is the way it is suppose to work in the USA but since Reagan religion has gotten mixed in our politics and government and the American people must put a stop to it. Perhpas the Indonesian people should be thinking about what they want to do with this radical Muslim group.

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