"PLAYBOY" MAGAZINE SPARKS VIOLENT PROTESTS
On 12 April 2006, the publisher's offices in Jakarta were stoned by hundreds of Muslim protesters, forcing the company to vacate the premises. In other cities such as Yogyakarta and Makassar, a group of people threatened to stop the magazine's distribution by taking matters into their own hands.
Launched on 7 April, the Indonesian version of "Playboy", which contains no nudity, quickly sold out. The magazine featured pictures of underwear-clad women, but also carried an interview with Pramoedya Ananta Toer, Indonesia's most famous writer and dissident.
Muslim protesters, including representatives of the Islamic Defenders' Front, say "Playboy" is pornographic and does not belong in a Muslim society, despite the fact that local pornographic magazines are widely available.
AJI says those who oppose "Playboy's" distribution in the country should take their grievances to the courts rather than use violence to voice their disagreement.
Police have asked the magazine's publisher to cease publishing for fear of spurring more protests. The "Jakarta Post" reports that protests against the magazine have become so widespread that media distributors and newsstands in Jakarta and in cities outside the capital are afraid to carry "Playboy".
In the city of Surabaya, distributors refused a shipment of some 4,000 copies of the magazine's first edition, out of fear of attracting the attention of fundamentalist groups.
The magazine's arrival in Indonesia coincides with a campaign by conservative Muslims to press parliament to introduce tough laws banning pornography and obscene acts.
Visit these links:
- AJI: http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/73642/
- Jakarta Post: http://www.asiamedia.ucla.edu/article-southeastasia.asp?parentid=43442
- BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4905640.stm