Pop star Lady Gaga’s upcoming Jakarta concert was canceled by the National Police on Tuesday amid harsh protest from Indonesia’s hard-line Islamist organizations.
“The National Police said verbally that [the concert] would not be permitted,” Jakarta police spokesman Sr. Comr. Rikwanto said.
The Jakarta Police previously recommended canceling the sold-out concert in response to public opposition.
Lady Gaga’s planned concert pitted Indonesia’s “little monsters” against the nation’s hard-line Islamist organizations.
Ticket sales were strong, with concert selling some 52,000 tickets in two weeks. Promoter Big Daddy released another 2,000 tickets on Monday.
But hard-line groups like the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) have rallied against the concert — Lady Gaga’s first in Indonesia — calling the pop diva a “dangerous” influence on Indonesia’s youth. The organization’s Jakarta chairman Salim Alatas told Agence France-Presse that FPI members would mobilize 30,000 supporters to forcibly prevent Lady Gaga from stepping off her plane.
“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.”
The Muslim Defenders Team, a legal aid organization known for representing Islamist and terrorist groups, claimed that Lady Gaga teaches fans to worship the devil.
Michael Rusli, president director of Big Daddy, dismissed the claims as ridiculous on Monday as he announced the release of an additional 2,000 tickets.
Michael was not available for immediate comment on Tuesday.
The Indonesian Council of Churches (PGI), a Christian organization, threw its support behind the concert on Tuesday, explaining that Indonesia’s constitution protects freedom of expression. Gomar Gultom, secretary general of the PGI, said that it was the job of religious leaders — not pop stars or the police — to keep the nation’s moral fiber intact.
“It is the duty of religious figures to guide people to have a clear mind and stand against pornographic temptations,” he said.
The June 3 concert was planned for Jakarta’s Gelora Bung Karno Stadium.
Although the concert was canceled in Jakarta, Lady Gaga could perform in another Indonesian city, as long as local police supported the event, the Indonesian news portal Detik.com reported.