It is funny how the media like to make a big deal of a few Christians and Buddhists in the Philippines and Thailand protesting her concert. Unlike her planned performance in Indonesia, she didn't receive threats of violence and her concert was not banned. Over in neighboring Malaysia, Lady GaGa's lyrics in 'Born This Way' were censored due to its "offensive" pro-gay message. In addition to all that, Christians in Indonesia actually supported Lady Gaga's visit.
A high-ranking member of Indonesia’s highest Islamic authority has urged Muslims not to attend Lady Gaga’s upcoming concert in Jakarta, declaring that the pop star known for her sexy and controversial outfits was forbidden under Islamic law.
“[The concert is] intended to destroy the nation’s morality,” said Indonesian Council of Ulema (MUI) chairman Cholil Ridwan, who added that he had never watched the singer perform and only heard of her “reputation” second-hand.
He urged Lady Gaga fans to return their tickets for the June 3 concert at Gelora Bung Karno and ask for a refund.
More than 25,000 tickets to the Jakarta leg of Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way Ball” tour were sold in less than two hours on March 10, the first day the tickets were available.
Cholil took exception with Lady Gaga’s revealing outfits and sexualized dance moves, claiming that a female dangdut singer who wore similar costumes would also be haram.
But he claimed Lady Gaga was worse. "She is from the West, and she often shows her aurat [private parts of the body] when performing," Cholil said.
While he was aware that many Western singers have already performed in Indonesia, Cholil said maybe it was time to put an end to these "cultural attacks."
He worried that this kind of performance would only encourage young Muslims in the country to do the same. But he added that watching the concert was still the call of Indonesia's Muslim youth.
Malaysia's Islamist opposition party on Monday demanded that authorities cancel a planned concert by U.S. glam rocker Adam Lambert that they say is promoting "gay culture" in the mainly Muslim country.
The Pan Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) has also threatened to call "as many of its members and supporters" to proselytize to concert-goers if the performance by the former "American Idol" runner-up goes ahead on Thursday, a party official said.
"Adam Lambert's shows... are outrageous, with lewd dancing and a gay performance that includes kissing male dancers, this is not good for people in our country," said PAS Youth leader Nasrudin Hasan. Homosexual sex is a criminal offence in Malaysia.
PAS is Malaysia's second-largest political party with close to a million members and is a partner in a rainbow opposition grouping led by former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim.
Shahril Azman Abdul Halim Al-Hafiz, an official with the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS), said the concert by singer Elton John at the Genting Highlands resort on Nov. 22 would corrupt young Muslims because of John's homosexuality.
"It's not good. In Islam homosexuality is forbidden," he told AFP. "What he is doing is hedonism. Hedonism is not good in Islam."
The British singer is openly gay, marrying his partner in 2005 after same-sex unions were legalised in Britain.
Shahril is the chairman of the PAS youth wing of eastern Pahang state. The casino resort lies on the border of the state, about an hour's drive from the capital Kuala Lumpur.
An official from concert promoter Tune Live declined to comment.
But the show, part of John's "Greatest Hits Tour," is expected to go ahead in the resort. John will be singing in Singapore before he comes to Malaysia and then go on to Jakarta.
PAS often protests concert by Western acts, saying the artists promote a promiscuous lifestyle and corrupt youngsters' minds.
But despite protest threats, most concerts have gone ahead without incidents though performers had to abide by strict rules, barring them from bearing too much skin and kissing on stage.
Launch Radio Networks reports: A celebration planned for this weekend in Zanzibar to honor native son Freddie Mercury has been called off due to religious protests. The population of the Tanzanian islands off the East Coast of Africa is primarily Islamic, and conservative Muslims threatened to disrupt the event, which would have marked the 60th anniversary of the late QUEEN singer's birth, according to the AFP news agency. Sheikh Azzan Hamdani of the local Association For Islamic Mobilization And Propagation said, "We were ready to join forces against the party because we had information that a number of gays from abroad had come to take part."
Organizer Simai Mohamed Saidi said, "We have decided to cancel the party after misleading and erroneous information was spread about it. I urge Muslim groups in the future to seek correct information from us instead of relying on rumors." Saidi, who owns the "Mercury's" theme restaurant in Zanzibar, had also intended to use the party to raise money for people with HIV/AIDS.
Local religious leaders felt that honoring Mercury, who was gay and who died of AIDS in 1991, would have gone against their faith, and that it would have brought shame to Zanzibar, where Mercury was born Farrokh Bulsara on September 5, 1946.
The local government had been asked to close the party down before it started. Officials, who never formally responded to the request, are said to walk a fine line between the needs of people who lead a secular lifestyle, a busy tourist industry, and religious conservatives. However, media outlets that are overseen by the government were told by the information ministry not to cover Saidi's Mercury event.
Foreign acts often draw protests from PAS, which since 2007 has campaigned against performances by singers including Beyonce, Rihanna, Gwen Stefani, Avril Lavigne and Mariah Carey.
Police in May broke up a demonstration by Islamists including PAS supporters protesting against a concert by U.S. rapper Pitbull, underscoring a deepening tide of Islamic conservatism in the country.
An official from Malaysia's Arts, Culture and Heritage Ministry was reported saying that the singer, had signed a contract agreeing to abide by the Ministry's rules on performances, which can require foreign performers to tone down their acts to suit local sensibilities.