Published on May 28th, 2012 | by Alan Cross6
Why the Cancellation of Lady Gaga’s Indonesian Concert Should Concern Us
This cancellation is bad news. Having just returned home after a visit to SE Asia, I can tell you definitively that there’s more at stake than just a bunch of disappointment music fans.
The status of her Jakarta show was big news in Singapore–and not merely celebrity news, either. It was a hearts and minds issue and one with serious political and social overtones. (Rather than rehash everything here, please go back and read the original post.)
In the end, though the hardline Islamic groups have won the day in Indonesia, a country of 240 million that’s officially a secular state. By cancelling the concert–to which 52,000 people bought tickets–authorities have caved to the demands of a religious minority.
Here’s the kind of rhetoric we saw from people like Salim Atatas, head of the Islamic Defender Front: “[Lady Gaga] is a vulgar singer who wears only panties and a bra when she sings and she state she is the envoy of the devil’s child and that she will spread satanic teaching.”
Really, Salim? I don’t recall her saying any of that.
Talk like this whipped up such anti-Gaga sentiment (which is really anti-pop/rock sentiment) to the point where officials pulled permits for the show because they were not only concerned about Gaga’s safety but the safety of the 52,000 people going to the gig.
Hey, who knows what some whacko hardliner might have tried? If they’ll bomb nightclubs in Bali, they’d have no trouble with a stadium in Jakarta.
As crazy as you may think I am for writing this, the cancellation of the Gaga show in Indonesia is a blow to that country’s drive for democracy. Let’s just say you had to be there.