This 2008 Lady Gaga dance-pop song is about bisexuality.
She won’t be performing it in Jakarta, Indonesia, after “hard line” (the media’s terms) Muslims objected to her sexy image and revealing dance moves. Lady Gaga was requested by police to perform blandly, but refused. The sold-out show is now cancelled.
“This is a victory for Indonesian Muslims. Thanks to God for protecting us from a kind of devil,” said one Salim Alatis, a leader of the Islamic Defenders Front, quoted in the news. The “extremist” group may have threatened disruptions of violence at the concert, if it went ahead as planned.
Indonesia cast aside dictatorship about a decade ago, and continues to make the transition to a liberal democracy, in which rights, such as freedom of expression, are valued. It is a long struggle for countries to adapt to a new way of doing things, to a new political culture.
In this way, is it a shame that it is a disposable pop star who is making a career imitating others, bringing our attention to an issue as important as religious freedom in a far off country?
The fallout could become another example of false blanket impressions of all Muslims as boorish and enemies of the West.
Besides! Indonesia has been held up as a place where Islam and Christianity were peacefully coexisting. Indeed, many Christians everywhere likely reject Lady Gaga’s messages, too. For further common ground, perhaps a rejection of hackneyed pop music could bridge this perceived monotheistic divide in the same way that everyone pretends to dislike Justin Bieber? In this way, passing radio hits we may forget about in the years ahead still engender peace, and not for the diversity and tolerance acceptance messages they recommend. Still, with apologies to Tipper Gore, the wife of politician Al Gore who in the 1980s wanted a crackdown on heavy metal… surely in 2012 we can move beyond being all offended over racy content in popular songs. The haters didn’t have to buy tickets to Lady Gaga’s concert.
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