An Indonesian Muslim organization that says it has a self-appointed duty to “observe” manners and morals in the country has forbidden Indonesian Muslims from attending the June 3 Lady Gaga concert in Jakarta.
All 44,000 tickets for the show are sold out, with likely a substantial portion going to people of the Islamic faith.
Consequently, the announcement by the organization, called the Ulema Council (MUI), has caused a great deal of controversy.
An executive of MUI, Khalil Radwan, said Lady Gaga’s concert is inappropriate for Muslims because the gestures and clothing she exhibits onstage are contrary to morality and “could induce carnal desire among people of different sexes,” according to AsiaNews. Such a reaction would cause “a moral drift of the nation and its people.”
As far as reactions go, thousands of Indonesian music lovers say the MUI's condemnation is just wrong. One group commented, “Music is music, and has nothing to do with the desires of the flesh.” The leader of the Islamic Liberal Network declared that the only thing that is “haram” (forbidden) about the Lady Gaga concert is “seeing it without buying a ticket.”
The singer has already given notice that she will abide by Indonesian law and dress “suitably” for the concert in Jakarta.