Anita Rachman & Arientha Primanita
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.
But another MUI chairman, Slamet Effendi Yusuf, said Cholil’s words were only his personal opinion. The organization has not issued a haram fatwa, a move that would require all MUI chairmen to reach a consensus.
Personally, Slamet said, he had no problem with young Muslims seeing Lady Gaga’s concert.
“I am sure they know what is good and bad,” he said. “However, I hope Lady Gaga can also wear a proper [dress] in her show.”
The imam of Istiqlal Mosque, Ali Mustafa Yaqub, on the other hand, said that while Lady Gaga herself was not haram, watching a barely clothed woman perform was. “Perform naked only in front of your husband,” he said.
Hydrian Prillaza, 29, laughed the suggestion off and said she would hang on to her ticket.
“If she wears very revealing outfits, I think that’s just part of the show,” she said.