Tuesday, May 09, 2006

No Playboy for Jakarta: Muslim tits still a-tangle

The publication of Playboy in Muslim Indonesia was greeted by some of us as perhaps a hopeful sign of Muslim liberalisation at least somewhere on the planet. Sadly, it seems Muslim tits in Jakarta are still all a-tangle: from Jakarta comes news of a new 'anti-porn' bill being discussed that according to some locals is "the thin edge of the Taliban wedge." If the bill is passed, says The Economist, "spouses will not be able to kiss in public, women will not be able to wear shorts for sport... , bikinis will be banned and many traditional dances will be consigned to history."

And Playboy? What of its future in Indonesia? It has none.

"Playboy is not suitable for reading because its contents degrade women," said the Islamic Defenders Front on behalf of a religion that values goats above women and has young women killed in order to "protect their honour."

Following the stoning of its offices by the Islamic Defenders Front, after which the police chose to interrogate the editors instead of arresting the thugs, Playboy have announced that publication of the Indonesian edition has now been suspended. Said the director of Playboy's Indonesian publishing company after the interrogation and the helpful suggestion from the police that they shut down and piss off, "We are very glad to have input from the Jakarta police. It was quite wise." I bet it was.

Looks like it's burgas and sharia all round then, huh?

UPDATE: On the question of women in Islam comes a relevant pair of links here from Arts & Letters Daily: "Bernard Lewis knows Islam's splendor and the dignity it gives to drab, impoverished lives. He also knows its darkness and its rage... more ... Lewis on women in Islam." Says Lewis in the second of the two linked articles,
I firmly believe that women are our best hope in dealing with the Muslim world, because they have so much to gain from modernization..
LINKS: Muslims get tits in a tangle - Not PC
No sex please, we're Indonesian -
The Economist (via The Hamilton Spectator)
Moral equivalence - Not PC
Indonesians ask Playboy to stop publishing - CBS News
A sage in Christendom - Opinion Journal
Modernizing the Muslim world - Toronto Star
What went wrong: Western impact and Middle Eastern response,
by Bernard Lewis (excerpts) - Google Books
.
TAGS: Politics-World, Religion, Sex

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10 Comments:

Anonymous Ruth said...

So Playboy is empowering to women, in your opinion?

There has been a campaign at my younger daughter's school to educate youngsters against buying branded Playboy products because they degrade women - a campaign I fully agree with.

5/09/2006 02:33:00 pm  
Blogger PC said...

"So Playboy is empowering to women, in your opinion?"

You might notice that I was careful to declare no opinion on that. Fact is that continued publication there would reflect some degree of liberalisation, of which, sadly ...

And the other relevant fact is that whatever the merits or otherwise of 'Playboy' viz emnpowering women, it's damn certain that a religion that bans shorts, bans bikinins, bans bare heads, and that values goats above women and has young women killed in order to "protect their honour" does NOT empower women.

Those are the relevant points.

Or are you perhaps suggesting that Islam is empowering to women, in your opinion?

5/09/2006 02:53:00 pm  
Anonymous ruth said...

Yes, and libertarians said being allowed to masturbate in public was a sign of liberalisation too. Seriously.

The fact remains that the vast majority of Muslim women do not consider the fact that they wear the hijab means they have a neon sign on their forehead saying "ignorant oppressed dolt"
Only fundamentalist Islam actually bans bare heads. For most Islamic women it is a choice.

The highest value to most Western woman may be sexual attention from any man who is willing to send it their way - take your example of bikinis etc. Muslim women disagree - so what?

The problem is education, not religion IMO. Mindless superstition is mindless superstition, no matter if it is Muslim, Christian, Hindu or whatever. Al least Bidinotto can see that and doesn't just bang the pulpit against Muslims like you neocons.

5/09/2006 03:52:00 pm  
Anonymous Robert Winefield said...

"the vast majority of Muslim women do not consider the fact that they wear the hijab means they have a neon sign on their forehead saying "ignorant oppressed dolt""

I seem to hear the bells of history tolling: "The vast majority of German Jews do not consider the fact that they wear the Star of David on their clothes means that they have anything to fear from their government."

Do the words "thin end of the wedge" mean anything to you Ruth?

5/09/2006 04:46:00 pm  
Anonymous ruth said...

Those words surely do Robert. Why do you think I speak up against the Death to Islam deranged rhetoric? Because I know where it leads to. I was going to post about Yom HaShoah (Holocast Remembrance Day 25 April), but did not because I am so sickened by what I see on right wing blogs about Muslims.

The Catholic Church made the Star of David compulsory - not Nazis.

BTW if you want to read about Christian terrorism - lopping head off in the name of God, go here:

http://eteraz.wordpress.com/2006/05/05/christian-terrorists-and-moral-equivalence

5/09/2006 05:42:00 pm  
Blogger libertyscott said...

Ruth, you're right it is religion. There is an interesting article in the Sunday Telegraph magazine over here about British Muslim women, and how free they feel. Part of it is also the politics, in the UK they know they can choose not to be Muslim and are exposed to many other cultures. I am not surprised if so many don't want to follow the lifestyle of many young British women!

5/09/2006 10:54:00 pm  
Blogger Brian S said...

I know Jakarta quite well having spent some time there. And it's not all bad news!

Any visitor to Jakarta can attest that the city is a speculator's paradise and that it is capitalism, not Muslim fundamentalism, that is in the ascendancy. The people of Jakarta definitely have Western aspirations. Jakartan women choose exactly how they want to dress and for the most part that is Western style - with the emphasis on "style" (funnily enough, I've seen more Muslims wearing veils here in London than I did in Jakarta). And it's not difficult to buy pornographic magazines if you are so inclined. Ask the hawkers who approach you in your car while you are "enjoying" yet more macet (traffic jams) what magazines sell best and they'll show you. Probably the police that visited the Playboy office for a "chat" weren't given a big enough kickback.

BTW, the demonstrator in the photograph is probably from Rent-a-Crowd. In Jakarta, there are demonstrations all the time about something or other and people make a living hiring themselves out for protests (where they'll even throw stones and damage property for good measure). I've seen photographs of the same demonstrator appearing in two different demonstrations for opposing causes. So it wouldn't be difficult to mount a pro-Playboy demonstration. However you've got to ask why there haven't been any even though there are people with cash who would benefit from continued publication.

5/10/2006 09:51:00 am  
Blogger Mark said...

"I was going to post about Yom HaShoah (Holocast Remembrance Day 25 April), but did not because I am so sickened by what I see on right wing blogs about Muslims."

I, for one, do not see the connection, Ruth. The Shoah was the single most sickening display of man's cruelty to man in the history of the world. That some right-wing blogs espouse a "death to anyone" stance shouldn't be a reason to refuse to honor the six million Jews and six million other tortured souls that perished in the Holocaust.

5/12/2006 05:06:00 pm  
Blogger Mark said...

Of course, the world didn't leap to our defense during the Holocaust, so I guess there's no reason to expect they will now with regard to a Muslim threat to Jews and their way of life, as well as the rest of the world.

Same old shit.....different century.

5/12/2006 05:09:00 pm  
Blogger Mark said...

BTW - I am intrigued by your comment that "the Catholic Church made the Star of David compulsory, not the Nazis". Do you have a link to something that backs that up?

I like to think I am as well-read as any Jew, and moreso than many, on the Holocaust and I do not recall ever reading that the Catholic Church forced Jews to wear a Star of David to set them apart during WWII, but the Nazis most assuredly did. It was not an idea original to the Nazis, but it was they who used it during the period to which Robert Winefielkd refers.

http://history1900s.about.com/od/holocaust/a/yellowstar.htm

5/12/2006 05:25:00 pm  

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