Thursday, September 18, 2008

Indonesian Pornography Bill

The Bali Times ran a rather alarming blog today entitled Fury, Incredulity in Bali over Porn Bill.

The article quotes many who are concerned about the bill, which
"criminalizes all public acts and material capable of raising sexual desires or violating 'community morality,' including poetry and music."

In a diverse, multi-cultural country like Indonesia, defining pornography and enforcing laws prohibiting the raising of sexual desires from one island to another may present quite a challenge:
"Bali Governor I Made Mangku Pastika has said the bill fails to consider cultural diversity in a nation that stretches from the conservative Islamic province of Aceh to the animist highlands of Papua, where women go topless and men wear almost nothing but long gourds on their penises."

As regards Balinese art, the article continues: "Critics say Balinese customs threatened by the bill include the ubiquitous Hindu religious statues of Lingga and Yoni that depict male and female genitals, and the Kecak dance which is performed semi-naked."

The bill is supported by the Islamic Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), which has rising influence in Indonesian politics. Will Indonesia be the next hot spot of religious extremism?

See also ABC News Australia's post, "Thousand of Balinese rally against anti-porn bill"

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