Indonesia’s top Islamic authority has called for the boycott of Ramadan-themed television shows that feature bawdy humor or foul language.
The Indonesian Council of Ulema (MUI) said these comedy shows distort the true meaning of the holy month.
“MUI urges people to boycott programs that used the name of Ramadan, but feature content that is far from the spirit of Ramadan,” Sinansari Encip, head of the MUI information and communication commission, said on Monday. “These shows are loaded with harsh words.”
The comedy shows were meant to brighten the mood during Ramadan, but they feature content that runs counter to Islamic values, Sinansari said.
“Ironically, some religious figures who appear [in the shows] get carried away with the mean spirit of comedy shows,” he said. “They only want to get higher ratings.”
Sinansari took exception with a show broadcast by Trans TV where an Islamic preacher was dancing. In another show, a cleric was inaccurate when teaching others religious history.
Last week, a prominent Muslim preacher inspired criticism after he hosted a late-night talk show featuring frank discussions on the sex lives of married couples. The Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPI) reprimanded Sholahudin Mahmoed over the content of his talk show “Akhirnya Aku Tahu” (“I Finally Understand”).
The preacher, more commonly known as Ustad Solmed, was issued a written warning from the KPI.
The show prompted Communication and Information Minister Tifatul Sembiring and the MUI to urge television stations to select Muslim preachers who appear in Ramadan-themed shows with a more critical eye.