Indonesia may be home to many Little Monsters, as fans of Lady Gaga are called, but a hard-line Muslim group said the American pop star is not welcome in the country, accusing her of promoting devil worship.
As the economies of many countries in the West struggle, Indonesia has become a favorite stop on the global concert circuit, and Lady Gaga is likely to be the latest big arrival. She is scheduled to perform in Jakarta on June 3, but some Muslim conservative leaders already expressed opposition to the gig, The Wall Street Journal's Scene Asia blog reported.
"Lady Gaga insults all religions. Even Christians in Korea opposed her," said Munarman, a spokesman for the Islamic Defenders' Front (FPI), a group known for its tough stance on vice and liberalism and sometimes violent protests. "She is promoting the worship of Satan."
A group of conservative Christians in South Korea protested against Lady Gaga's concert in their country last month, saying she promoted homosexuality. Munarman, who like many Indonesians goes by only one name, did not say what the group would do if the concert in Jakarta went ahead as scheduled. "We'll decide later," he said.
Local fan Rientha Ramdan said that her idol's songs are not from the devil.
"Some of the songs in her latest album actually reflect her spirituality as a Catholic," the Jakarta-based Little Monster said. "I don't think they even listen to Lady Gaga's songs. They only see her posters, which are frightening, but they are just for show."
Ticket prices for the concert to be held at the Bung Karno soccer stadium range from 750,000 rupiah to 2.25 million rupiah ($82 to $245), unaffordable prices for most Indonesians.
Last week, The Jakarta Post reported that FPI chairman Rizieq Shihab warned there would be trouble if Lady Gaga's concert was not stopped. "If you want chaos in Jakarta, just continue to hold the concert," he was quoted as saying.
Muslim scholar Cholil Ridwan told The Jakarta Globe that Gaga's performances were haram, or forbidden, in Islam because the singer, whose real name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, wears revealing clothes during concerts, according to the WSJ.