Gaga says sorry for cancelling Indonesia show

2012-05-28 09:37

Jakarta – US pop star Lady Gaga apologised for having to cancel a concert in Indonesia following protests from conservative Muslim groups.

“We had to cancel the concert in Indonesia,” Gaga said in a post last night on her official Twitter account, which is followed by nearly 25 million people.

“I’m so very sorry to the fans & just as devastated as you if not more,” she said. “You are everything to me.”

About 50?000 tickets had been sold for the June 3 Jakarta concert at the Bung Karno stadium. The concert promoter said tickets would be refunded.

Indonesian police earlier this month refused to issue a permit for the concert, citing objections from some Muslim groups who decried Gaga’s stage show as “pornographic” and incompatible with local values.

The Islamic Defenders’ Front, a small group known for sometimes violent protests, had threatened to mobilise to stop the concert.

Its spokesperson Munarman welcomed the cancellation as “a victory from Allah” and branded her show as “trash culture.”

The Jakarta Globe, a newspaper known for reports critical of hardline groups, said opposition to Gaga was “justifiable,” even if threats of violence were not.

“It is not about how she dresses, which is needlessly provocative, but about what she sings and the lyrics of her songs,” the paper’s editorial said. “It is about the lack of morality in what she represents.”

The editorial drew criticism from some Indonesians in cyberspace.

“A totally corrupted piece of reporting,” reader Didi Karjadi wrote in the comment section.

“Jakarta Globe editor, you disgust me, and pretty much your whole readership.”

Religious groups in South Korea and the Philippines had also protested against the concerts on her Born This Way Ball tour, although the shows in Seoul and Manila went ahead as scheduled.

About 88% of Indonesia’s 238 million people adhere to the Islamic faith, making it the world’s largest Muslim-majority country.

Most Indonesian Muslims are moderate, but small but vocal hardline groups have been increasingly bold in pushing their agenda in recent years.

Pop stars such as Katy Perry, Kylie Minogue and Justin Bieber have held concerts in Jakarta in the past year without incident.

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