Female equality has Islamic radicals going gaga | The Australian
By: Peter Alford
HAVING triumphantly repelled gender-bending pop star Lady Gaga, Islamic radicals are now targeting Indonesia’s proposed gender equality law.
For Lady Gaga, who cancelled her sold-out show in Jakarta this weekend because of the security risks to herself and her fans, this must be humiliation heaped on humiliation.
Stopping her performing, after bullying and shouting down the visiting Islamic feminist author Irshad Manji, were just warm-up gigs for the radicals’ main event: attacking the Indonesian government’s modest attempt at institutionalising female equality.
As Abdul Mukti, secretary of Muhammadiyah, said this week, the radicals’ success against “the devil’s messenger” draws them closer to the so-called silent majority of moderate Muslims.
Even if they were repelled by the utilisation of threats and violence of the radicals, dutiful Muslims were at least as repelled by the US singer’s soft-porn imagery and brash LGBT proselytising.
This has made the likes of Habib Rizieq Syihab’s Islamic Defenders’ Front (FPI), usually portrayed by the Jakarta media as white-garbed, wild-eyed hooligans, as popular with the mainstream as they have ever been.
“They are getting bigger, they are getting louder and they are getting confident,” Mr Mukti said.
“It’s very serious in my view when those who lead by violence are viewed as heroes for the civil society because they are brave enough to stand up against the (moral) enemy.”
They are using that momentum, Mr Mukti said, to force radical agendas onto the traditionally moderate religious and social mass movements, Muhammadiyah and Nahdlatul Ulama, claiming between them some 80 million Indonesian followers.
FULL ARTICLE (The Australian)