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No go for Lady Gaga

May 27, 2012

The US pop music artist Lady Gaga has cancelled a planned concert following a threat from an Islamist group. The group said it had purchased tickets and planned to create "chaos."

In this May 19, 2012 file photo, American pop singer Lady Gaga poses before the media upon her arrival in a hotel in Manila's financial district of Makati, Philippines.
Image: AP

The American pop star as Lady Gaga has cancelled a planned concert in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, due to a threat to her security issued by an Islamist group.

"Lady Gaga's management has considered the situation minute to minute, and with threats if the concert goes ahead, Lady Gaga's side is calling off the concert," Minola Sebayang, a lawyer for the promotion company Big Daddy, told reporters in Jakarta. "This is not only about Lady Gaga's security, but extends to those who will be watching her."

Islamist threat

The decision came after a group called the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), which has described the pop diva as a "devil's messenger" wearing nothing but a bra and panties, threatened to cause “chaos” if she entered the secular but mainly Muslim country.

The Islamic group reacted to the news with satisfaction.

"FPI is grateful that she has decided not to come. Indonesians will be protected from sin brought about by this Mother Monster, the destroyer of morals," Habib Salim Alatas, the head of the Jakarta branch of the Islamic group told the AFP news agency.

"Lady Gaga fans, stop complaining. Repent and stop worshipping the devil," he added, referring to thousands of messages on the website Twitter pleading with her to go ahead with the concert.

More than 50,000 tickets had been sold for the June 3 concert at Jakarta's Bung Karno Stadium. The promoters said those who had purchased tickets would get full refunds.

FPI planned to disrupt event

Among those who apparently had bought tickets were 150 FPI members. In a message posted on the social networking site Facebook, FPI spokesman Murhali Bard had written: "We have gotten Lady Gaga tickets … our target is to stop the concert."

There had been talk that Lady Gaga's managers was in negotiations with the local authorities to tone down her act, which features skimpy costumes, and sometimes provocative lyrics, for the Jakarta concert. On Thursday, her manager, Troy Carter told reporters in Singapore, an earlier stop on her Asian tour, that this was out of the question.

The fact that the concert has now been cancelled may be seen as a blow to Indonesia's reputation as a country which combines mainly moderate Islam with democracy and free speech.

pfd/msh (APE, AFP)