January 26, 2006

Playboy Is Porn, Sellers Should be Arrested

(Jakarta, Indonesia) The planned publication and sale of Playboy magazine in majority-Muslim Indonesia has prompted angry protest (pic) from several groups. It's believed the magazine will destroy the morality of young people and the nation.

From Antara News:

The Indonesian Journalists Association (PWI) Chairman Tarman Azzam has said every effort should be taken to prevent the publication of the Indonesian version of playboy magazine or the sellers should be arrested should the pornographic magazine reaches the children.

"If the magazine publication comes into being and their circulation reaches the children, the producers as well as the sellers should be arrested, and bring them to the court to make them afraid," Tarman said after inaugurating the temporary board members of the PWI here on Tuesday.

Several rejections to the planned publication of the Playboy magazine among other things came from Youth Affairs Minister Adhyaksa Dault, and the country's two largest Muslim organizations respectively Muhammadiyah and Nahdlatul Ulama (NU).

Opposition groups are calling for arrest and prosecution under pornography and child protection laws. Pretty extreme, I think. According to Ahmad Rofiq of the Association of Muhammadiyah Students (IMM), assertions by the publisher that the magazine would contain only lifestyle, conventional issues, culture and politics and no nude pictures are not believed.

Interestingly, the Indonesian public protest and debate of a free press issue is in stark contrast to the way the Chinese communists deal with free speech. In Indonesia, a democratic (albeit Muslim) country, the controversy is open to public discourse and, presumably, a decision will be made in a democratic manner. Conversely, China, a police-state dictatorship, yesterday specified the manner which Google would censor information on Internet searches. No debate and no discussion allowed. It makes no difference what the public wants in China.

The Indonesian version of Playboy was licensed in November 2005 and is planned to hit the news stands starting in March for 40,000 rupiah (about $4.30).

Companion post at Interested-Participant.

By at 08:36 AM | Comments |