Lady Gaga Gets the Indonesian Boot | Matthew Cullinan Hoffman | Catholic World Report
Asians are sending a message to America. Are we listening?
News of the cancellation of the Lady Gaga concert scheduled for early June in Jakarta, Indonesia is receiving a lullingly uniform spin in the American and international media. It is, we are told, a morality play about the triumph of radical Islamism over artistic freedom, and a disturbing omen of Indonesia’s supposed slide into religious fanaticism.
In reality, however, the negative response to Gaga’s hypersexualized and iconoclastic performances was not isolated to extremists, nor to the country of Indonesia. Gaga’s religion-insulting concert tour and other, similar forms of entertainment are increasingly ill-received throughout the region of Southeast Asia and beyond, and reflect a growing indignation at what is perceived as an American cultural imperialism that treats the moral values of other countries with contempt.
Blame for the Jakarta fiasco is being assigned to an organization known as the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), a hard-line Muslim group known for its clashes with Christians and its strict interpretation of the Koran. According to the International Crisis Group, a peacemaking organization whose verdict on the affair is being quoted by the Associated Press, it is “clear that there wouldn’t have been a thought of canceling the concert” if the FPI and other extremist groups hadn’t “mobilized” to stop it.
The FPI and kindred groups, however, were not at all alone in their opposition to the Jakarta concert. In fact, it was vigorously opposed by a dozen other Islamic organizations, including the Indonesian Ulema Council, the highest Muslim authority in a country known for its moderate religious temperament.
Moreover, opposition to Gaga’s performance didn’t stop at the border of Indonesia. In fact the tour, dubbed the “Born this Way Ball” in reference to Gaga’s scientifically-unsubstantiated claim that homosexuals are born with their “gay” orientation, has provoked protests in multiple countries in the region, mostly by Christian groups.