Lady Gaga was forced to cancel a sold-out show in Indonesia after being threatened with violence from those who believe that her sexy clothes and dancing would corrupt the youth of their country. The protests damaged the reputation of a nation that is working to present itself to the world as a place for free speech and democracy.
The promoters gave full refunds and some have accused the police of not following through on their duty of providing security for concert goers.
Minola Sebayang, a lawyer for Big Daddy, the group promoting the show, confirmed the cancellation.
“It’s unfortunate,” he said. “But with threats if the concert goes ahead, Lady Gaga’s side is calling it off. This is not only about Lady Gaga’s security, but extends to those who will be watching her.”
Indonesia has long been hailed as an example of a Muslim country where Democracy and Islam can work together in a peaceful society. The country was under a dictatorship just 10 years ago and now holds open elections.
Recently, the country has had to deal with extremist groups that have become more violent through the years. They’ve attacked Christians, transvestites, atheists and others who are believed to be immoral.
The Islamic Defenders Front referred to Lady Gaga as a “messenger from the devil.” They even vowed to show up at the airport to keep her from getting off the plane. They also bought tickets so they could protest inside the show.
The group did negotiate with Lady Gaga, agreeing to tone down their protests if she would tone down her show. Instead, she cancelled altogether.
“This is a victory for Indonesian Muslims,” said Salim Alatas, one of the leaders of the Islamic Defenders Front. “Thanks to God for protecting us from a kind of devil.”