Malaysia/Philippines: Religious groups unite in bid to silence pop singer
Christian and Muslim groups attempt to ban American superstar Lady Gaga’s shows during her Asia tour, calling her music, persona and style the ‘work of Satan’, while tens of thousands of her fans in Seoul, Jakarta and Manila campaign for the singer’s right to freedom of expression. Over 750 articles about the topic are listed on Google News.
Lady Gaga (real name: Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta) is due to play the 20,000-seat Mall of Asia in the capital of the Philippines, Manila, on 21 and 22 May 2012.
The American singer-songwriter’s Born This Way Ball Tour began on 27 April 2012 at the Olympic Stadium in Seoul, South Korea, where the concert was met with protests from several religious groups who denounced the tour as satanic and against both Christian and Muslim values. The lead to further protests and a cancellation of the concert in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta, where authorities denied her concert permit amid claims from Islamic groups that the suggestive nature of her show and lyrics would “sabotage the country’s moral codes of conduct”.
“During her concerts, Lady Gaga looks like a devil worshipper,” said Suryadharma Ali, the religion affairs minister of the Indonesian nation of 240 million people who are mainly Muslims.
In Seoul, Christian groups held prayer meetings dedicated to banning the concert, also calling Lady Gaga’s music “the work of Satan”. Ju-Hyun, a prayer organiser, said the meetings were organised “so that homosexuality and pornography [would] not spread around the country.”
Up to six years for offending religion
“She has a song that suggests that she wants to have sex with Judas and performs it with a dance,” James Imbong, a lawyer filing a petition to ban her two concerts in Manila, told the news website PhilStar. He said that the Christian groups would not accept a compromise as organisers in South Korea did when Seoul authorities agreed to forbid under-12s from attending instead of cancelling the concert.
Manila’s mayor has issued a statement ordering Lady Gaga not to “exhibit any nudity or lewd conduct which may be offensive to morals and good custom,” with the stark reminder that the penal code in the primarily Roman Catholic country of 93 million can convict anyone up to six years for offending race or religion.
Latest news on this topic
Google News – continuously updated:
Search: “Lady Gaga” + “Manila”
The Guardian – 20 May 2012:
‘Christians and Muslims unite in new bid to silence Lady Gaga’
The Guardian – 16 May 2012:
‘Lady Gaga denied permit for Indonesia concert after religious protests’
The Jakarta Post – 15 May 2012:
Lady Gaga first rejected by authorities: Police
The Sydney Morning Herald:
Gaga rocks Philippines, defies critics
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