Pop superstar Lady Gaga’s upcoming Jakarta concert should be canceled the Jakarta Police said on Sunday, citing a flurry of objections from Indonesia’s Islamic organizations ranging from issues with the US pop star’s provocative outfits to allegations of devil worship.
Lady Gaga’s sold-out Jakarta concert is scheduled for June 3, but police have yet to decide whether Indonesia’s 40,000 ticket-holders will be able to see Lady Gaga perform. The planned concert has attracted the ire of hard-line Islamists the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), who called Lady Gaga to the devil during rallies and warned that her concert will degrade the nation’s sense of morality.
The Jakarta Police recommended that the concert be canceled. But, in the end, the decision is out of their hands.
“The concert permit is issued by the National Police,” Jakarta Police spokesman Rikwanto said, “but the Jakarta Police doesn’t recommend the concert be held.”
The National Police are still undecided whether to allow Lady Gaga to perform in Jakarta.
“We’re still discussing it,” National Police spokesman Boy Rafli Amar told Beritasatu.com. “The concert is slated for June, so we haven’t made a decision. We’ll announce whether or not we’ll issue a permit later.”
The Muslim Defenders Team urged the police to cancel the concert to prevent possible conflicts between Islamists and Lady Gaga fans.
“We ask the National Police to take into consideration the public’s opposition to Lady Gaga’s concert,” said M. Mahendradatta, board chairman for the Muslim Defenders Team — an organization known for representing hard-line Islamists and alleged terrorists.
Mahendradatta said that the pop diva promotes devil worship and that her concert will corrupt the moral sensibilities of young Indonesians.
“Whether you like it or not, Lady Gaga teaches [fans] to worship the devil,” he said. “That goes against the teachings of any religion. We don’t approve of that.”
The Muslim Defenders Team, Mahendradatta said, are not trying to pressure police into canceling the concert.
“There is no pressure, just a consideration to prevent conflicts,” he said.
But the FPI have taken a harder stance on the pop star’s Jakarta concert and threatened to mobilize 30,000 protesters to stop Lady Gaga from entering the country.
“We will stop her from setting foot on our land. She had better not dare spread her satanic faith in this country,” FPI Jakarta chairman Salim Alatas told AFP. “Her style is vulgar, her sexual and indecent clothes will destroy our children’s sense of morality. She’s very dangerous.”
FPI’s leader Rizieq Syihab furthered the devil worshiping claims, adding that the singer was planning to build Lucifer’s kingdom in Indonesia.
“If she performed, I will send Muslims in Jakarta to stop the concert,” he said in Temanggung.
The pop star’s “Born This Way” Asian tour has drawn protest from religious conservatives in South Korea, the Philippines and Indonesia.
Preparations for Lady Gaga's Jakarta concert continued on Monday as the event's promoter, undaunted by protesting Islamist organizations and a lack of a concert permit, released another 2,000 tickets for the sold-out show.
“We have already sold 52,000 tickets, not counting these 2,000 additional tickets,” said Michael Rusli, president director of Big Daddy, the concert's promoter.
“Public enthusiasm is very high,” he said.
The US pop star's Jakarta concert has attracted the attention of Indonesia's radical Islamist organizations, who have threatened to forcibly prevent Lady Gaga from stepping off her plane and have warned police that the singer will corrupt the nation's youth. The Jakarta Police responded on Sunday by recommending that the concert — part of Lady Gaga's "Born This Way Ball" tour — be canceled.
The National Police are still deciding whether to issue the concert a permit.
But the concert's promoter said that Lady Gaga's June 3 show already has the backing of Indonesia's Tourism Ministry.
"A permit is usually issued two or three weeks before the concert," Michael said. "We already have the recommendation from the tourism ministry needed to get permission from the police, but the process is not yet finished."
The head of Indonesia's Muslim Defender Team, M. Mahendradatta, urged police to cancel the concert in light of public protest. The legal aid organization, which is known for representing Islamist and terrorist organizations, said that police should take the complaints of groups like the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) seriously.
“Whether you like it or not, Lady Gaga teaches [fans] to worship the devil,” Mahendradatta said. “That goes against the teachings of any religion. We don’t approve of that.”
The concert's promoter called that idea was ridiculous.
"Lady Gaga is a catholic and she has many charitable works, how could she be a devil worshiper?" Michael said.
The US pop diva — known for her provocative outfits and sexy stage shows — will tone down her concert for Indonesian audiences, Michael said.
"The concert will be different from video clips [seen online]," Michael said. "It will not be vulgar."
The 2,000 additional tickets released on Monday were sold at Rp 465,000 ($50) each. The concert is scheduled for June 3 at Jakarta's Gelora Bung Karno Stadium.