In a country that boasts of its embrace of moderate Islam and cultural diversity, many analysts and politicians say the attempt to establish a strict Islamic standard of behavior is at odds with the thinking of a vast majority of the people. They give little chance of Parliament passing such an extreme law. Opponents of the law argue that trying to legislate morality is like trying to protect matrimony by abolishing divorce.It seems that the fight is not over whether people can actually see risqué photographs. It is a struggle for political power on the ground, and, I would guess, the appearance of the famous magazine name on the newsstands means a lot. So I wouldn't laugh off this fight because of the stunning reality of the internet and the tameness of the magazine.
But in the years since the fall of President Suharto, hard-line Islamic groups have grown in strength and organizational ability and are now a formidable social force. They often get what they want through social pressure alone....
Muhyiddin Junadi, a scholar from the Indonesian Ulama Council and Muhammadiyah, the second-largest Muslim organization in Indonesia, acknowledged an agenda to sharply alter the moral character of Indonesia, where it is still possible to buy alcohol, even in the middle of Ramadan.
"We don't want to make Indonesia an Islamic country, but what we demand is that Muslims must apply Islamic teaching and Islamic principles to their lives," Mr. Junadi said in an interview. To him, Playboy is "very dangerous" because it risks spoiling "the morality of Indonesian society as a whole, especially the young generation."
Mr. Carolus, however, takes the position that it is other media, not his magazine, that offer the moral danger. "If I want to see naked pictures," he said, "I go to the Internet. It costs nothing. U.S. Playboy costs me about $12."
Indeed, a Web site with explicit sexual content that claims to have received more than 46 million hits last month lists Indonesia as its No. 1 source of viewers. Malaysia, another majority Muslim country, was listed at No. 4.
April 17, 2006
Since you can go on line in Indonesia and get to all the pornography you want, why is there an uproar over the availability of a version of Playboy that doesn't even have photographs of naked women in it?