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Anti-pornograpy laws stir debate about an open society JAKARTA - Since taking office as Indonesia's sixth president 17 months ago, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has grown from a former general into agraft-buster, an economic reformer and a peacemaker. Now add social conservative to the list. Addressing a Jakarta audience last week, Mr Yudhoyono complained about young women baring belly buttons in public and recounted how a singer hired for a presidential event had been sent packing for exposing her navel. "I was disturbed," he said. "I told her to go home. And she did just that without having the chance to sing a song."

What Mr Yudhoyono was homing in on - and not for the first time - was more than a question of fashion. He was entering a national debate over draft anti-pornography legislation before Indonesia's parliament. It is a debate that has become about much more than regulating smut. It could help solidify Indonesia's credentials as one of the Islamic world's great moderating voices - as Tony Blair, the British prime minister, described the archipelago during his visit yesterday. Or, should it unfold differently, it could add to fears that conservative Islamic voices are gaining traction. "The idea of [Indonesia as] an open society is being debated here," says Bambang Harymurti, editor-in-chief of the respected Tempo news magazine.

Faced with what some see as moral slippage since the 1998 fall of strongman Suharto and the introduction of unheard-of freedoms, Islamic conservatives last year revived anti-pornography legislation introduced in the dying days of the regime. Rather than sticking to regulating films or magazines such as an Indonesian edition of Playboy, due to make its debut next month, they expanded it to cover behaviour and clothing. As a result, the law is seen by many as a back-door attempt to codify Islamic law, something Indonesians have repeatedly rejected.

Under the draft law, kissing in public is punishable by up to five years in jail and a $50,000 fine while showing "sensual" body parts, such as a bit of belly, hip or thigh, could mean a 10-year jail sentence. Moving "erotically" is banned. So too are "public nudity" and depictions of nudity, something thatartists fear. Advocates of the law say they are trying to protect Indonesians from western excesses. Yoyoh Yusro, deputy chairwoman of aspecial parliamentary committee pushing the legislation, says: "By eradicating pornography, hopefully we can boost the performance and achievement of our young generation."

Others, however, see it as the latest attempt by Islamic conservatives to score gains in Indonesia, where a historically pragmatic attitude towards mixing Koranic edicts with Animism, Buddhism and Hinduism-infused indigenous traditions has long made it a looser tropical cousin to the more rigid Middle Eastern Islam. Conservative and radical Islamic groups have had an increasingly public presence since the 1998 fall of Suharto. Officials also still have a tendency to take a rigid approach to enforcing laws governing religion - now jailed in East Java is a former boxer convicted of heresy for leading Muslim prayers in Indonesian rather than Arabic.

But this time conservative Muslims have been met with an angry response from artists, ethnic minorities, performers, tourism workers and women peeved at the idea the bill would regulate how they live and dress and - in the case of Balinese hotel workers - potentially ruin their livelihoods by deterring bikini-clad tourists. "We see the bill as state intervention into a private area of people's lives," says Vivi Widyawati, a feminist activist.

It is the first time in recent history that Indonesia's moderate majority has pushed back against the increasingly vocal conservative minority. "You have a lot of people now saying: 'This is a real watershed. This is a test case over whether we are going to roll over and play dead or whether we are going to resist further Islamicisation'," says Sidney Jones, a long-time Indonesia watcher and analyst for the International Crisis Group. "The thing you cannot identify this as, God forbid, is a battle for the soul of Islam. It's not moderate Muslims versus conservative Muslims. It's conservative Muslims versus everyone else."



Posted in Politics @ 31 March 2006 07:05 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink





Jeroen
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The open society is already rapidly changing into a fairly radical islamic base for all kinds of things where we used to see some other form of islam or local adat.



dirgantara
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(Edited) Posted @ 31 March 2006 12:20

If the open society collapse I bet the national unity will come under huge pressure. Which is not in the interest of the region
IMO the religious chit chat should not be a focuspoint of politicians.
They should focus on serious things. Like promoting their country for investors,
international instititutions
First those lousy politicians have to take care of proper public utilities (transport, health care).
The fact that the republic of Indonesia has an department of religious affairs (www.depag.go.id) shows that it's not really a secular country.
In cases of extremism the security sevices are failling. They should not negotiate with guys from extreme dangerous organisations like FPI.





dangdude03
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Thousands of people from some Islamic organizations in East Java hold a rally in front of the local House building, Tuesday (3/28). They asked legislators to soon make the pornography bill into law. (ANTARA Photo/str-Gobang Prakoso)





Jeroen
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whehe.. those frogs in the image Emoticon: Laugh out loud



dirgantara
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When do these people get a life...... a real life



Jantje
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On 31-03-2006 21:45 dirgantara wrote:
When do these people get a life...... a real life


After death Emoticon: Confused Emoticon: Stupid



kiwimave
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I wonder how much does jilbab girls who are rallying get paid for doing that..

For me they are just prostitutes of free speech.



kathryn pollard
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I sent this letter to the Jakarta Post on March 28
The people who are wanting to make Indonesia over to be more like Australia where "anything goes" are probably seeking to control the media propaganda.
Well let me tell you dear people.

Australia puts out that all is well when it is not. Morals have been mucked up badly. People who have wanted to brake down families, promote the use of illicit drugs, the sexualization of children and pornography have been immensely successful. Once were unthinkable acts of gross indecency and violence are now common. In lots of Sydney schools alarm bells are used to remind children to take drugs like Ritalin that make them controllable.

Paedophilia has increased dramatically in recent years. Parents of young children drive their children to school because it is not safe for them to walk. There are tens of thousands of children living in "foster" care because their home family environment was too abusive.

There is lots of evidence that rapists and murderers are fuelled by pornography.
It is now hard to block out media and entertainment that is so well known as destructive of those human attributes that keep us civilised.

The people of Indonesia would be wise to be mindful that social responsibilities come with restraints.
It is something that the people running the shows in Australia have forgotten.
Kathryn.pollard.com



kiwimave
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(Edited) Posted @ 01 April 2006 23:28


On 01-04-2006 15:10 kathryn pollard wrote:

Paedophilia has increased dramatically in recent years.


Paedophilia is a disease which has quite a stable prevalence throughout cultures, countries and time. Just like homosexuality (only we don't call it a disease in our time any more but a "sexual deviation" ). It's hard to believe that paedophilia increases... do u have hard facts (statistics)?

Hey and is Australia really so bad?? Ok I agree Western Sydney (Bankstown/Cabramatta etc) are quite bad places (I used to live there a couple of months), with a lot of crime, almost as bad as typical American cities...but most of Australia remains peaceful and friendly right?

And also, just compare TV programs in Australia with programs in "Islamic" Indonesia? Who shows the biggest trash to their population? Live traffic accidents, gun fights, after 2 minutes newsflash 5 minutes commercials?? I think you can be proud of a country like Australia, they can act as an example for their big brother Indonesia to get some values..

And Ritalin?? If only Ritalin wouldnt be so expensive Im sure a lot of Indonesian children would use it. At least they need it

But Kathryn keep up trying to make Ozzie a better country... Emoticon: Bye bye



kathryn pollard
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Kiwimave makes light of pornography laws and sounds like a foot soldier of the "anything goes" Aussies.

Well Kiwimave you might like to read about what criminals have had to say about their addiction to pornography and how they seek out more and more violent depravity to titillate them.

Also an American writer by the name of Tammy Bruce has written a book titled "The Death of Right and Wrong" which gives lots of statistics if that is what you need to hear.


Sickos don't like restrictions on their behaviour and aim to make all the world adopt their nihilistic mores.
Getting as many people as they can into watching pornography is just one of their strategies.




sascha
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u sound a bit prude to me Emoticon: Wink lets face it. pictures and movies of people copulating have been around for as long as mankind exists.
if people do something wrong it has rather something to do with the lack of respect and education.(and islam is not really a good example to educate young men that women are equal and should be respected)
as kimikawe said the paedopihlia and rape are equally high in every society. in some countries its hidden as woman fear to raise their voice, in others its something the massmedia uses to raise their quotes.
i dont even think a anti porn law would be sooo wrong but stuff like forbid public kissing and belly free clothes is just wrong.



rabih
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we can make topless in bali and massage



rabih
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On 04-04-2006 17:21 rabih wrote:
we can make topless in bali and massage
Emoticon: Shiny Emoticon: Shiny



rabih
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can some body answer me in french



Jeroen
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On 04-04-2006 17:26 rabih wrote:
can some body answer me in french

No, this subforum is in English, there is no French subforum here.



sascha
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AnisJ
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(Edited) Posted @ 05 April 2006 16:46





sascha
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lifeisgoodok
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I tend to disagree with kathryn Pollard regarding her statement "There is lots of evidence that rapists and murderers are fuelled by pornography." Would you like to share where you got your evidence from?
The state of Orgeon, USA is very liberal regardring nudity and phonography. I lived there for 3 years. There are strip parlors just about everywhere and also pornshops. However, as there are so many, one forgets that they exist! There is lesser crime and murders there than other cities in the USA. There is absolutely NO connection between rapists/murderers and phonograghy.
Do not go by books. If I write about a Lawyer who raped or murdered someone, does that make all lawers rapist ? NO. Of course you are going to find a small proporation that are rapistor murderers who indulge in phonography. But a large majority of people who enjoy phonography do not go out and rape or murder someone.



foxdemon
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Kathryn Pollard sounds like a right wing Christain. There is a plague of them in Australia at present. I agree to the extent that Idonesia ought not blindly follow Australia's (or other western) example. But the open society will give Indonesia stability. A closed society wil lead to marginalisation of 'out' groups and social tensions, prehaps worse, will follow.

I think sascha makes a good point about the tonned down phonography in Germany. I find a lot of pornography is about men's power over women and I don't like it for this reason. The protestors are saying it will break childerns' morals and don't seem to be conserned about it's effect on mens' attitudes to women. Indonesia could fine a tasteful compromise. I suspect though, the forces behind the anti-porn bill want more,... much more.





kathryn pollard
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Foxdemon says I "sound like a right wing Christian" . I haven't such "luck".
I am religious but find organized religons patriachal , irresponsible and scared of intelligent women.

The point I want to make Fox ,is that since Australia has become largely controlled by the "there's no hereafter therefore anything goes" folk Australia's social and health problems have escalated. Lot of yound children are on Ritalin and teenagers are being prescribed anti depressants.
Most people feel apathetic about political issues becaue they feel powerless .The rates of violence against women and children including rapes and murders and thousands of women disappearing never to be seen again continues to soar.
Maybe being a woman, I might have a greater capacity to feel empathy for the millions of women across the globe who are the victims of male violence.

Some restraints on freedoms are , I think, better then the strict Sharia Law that treats women harshly and cruelly. .
Call me what you like if you feel a need to put me down.
Australia is an extemely patriachal society so the women who could make a difference are blocked from having their voices heard. Emoticon: Bye bye



cepeceng
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Have you all see the Indonesian Playboy? Its nothing in it that would be deemed pornography...
Check it out here: www.cepeceng.com/magazine/Playboy



searching
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Foxdemon,

Kathryn Pollard sounds like a right wing Christain. There is a plague of them in Australia at present. I agree to the extent that Idonesia ought not blindly follow Australia's (or other western) example. But the open society will give Indonesia stability. A closed society wil lead to marginalisation of 'out' groups and social tensions, prehaps worse, will follow.


Are you an australian? Are you a moslem?

I think sascha makes a good point about the tonned down phonography in Germany. I find a lot of pornography is about men's power over women and I don't like it for this reason. The protestors are saying it will break childerns' morals and don't seem to be conserned about it's effect on mens' attitudes to women. Indonesia could fine a tasteful compromise. I suspect though, the forces behind the anti-porn bill want more,... much more.


Well, I agree with you on this. It's all about political power, and the wanting to rule the society with Islamic law. Terrorizing people by intimidation, demonstration, to get what they want.

Kathryn,

Foxdemon says I "sound like a right wing Christian" . I haven't such "luck".
I am religious but find organized religons patriachal , irresponsible and scared of intelligent women.


No comment on that. To me you sound like some woman movement activist.

The point I want to make Fox ,is that since Australia has become largely controlled by the "there's no hereafter therefore anything goes" folk Australia's social and health problems have escalated. Lot of yound children are on Ritalin and teenagers are being prescribed anti depressants.
Most people feel apathetic about political issues becaue they feel powerless .The rates of violence against women and children including rapes and murders and thousands of women disappearing never to be seen again continues to soar.
Maybe being a woman, I might have a greater capacity to feel empathy for the millions of women across the globe who are the victims of male violence.


I agree with you in this. We need be watchful to the side effect of pornography. But I don't think banning pornography is something we need to do. Banning something only cause the contra effect. Do you think rape doesn't occur in countries with sharia laws or other strict laws. I am afraid no.
It's better for people to promote the rule of law and the attitude of responsibility. If you watch porn and then you violate other people's right (by raping or harassing others), you will be jailed. I agree that the law for this crime should be higher.

Some restraints on freedoms are , I think, better then the strict Sharia Law that treats women harshly and cruelly. .
Call me what you like if you feel a need to put me down.
Australia is an extemely patriachal society so the women who could make a difference are blocked from having their voices heard.


Well, I hope one day, men and women can equally live.




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