Indonesian Police is reportedly planning to ban a performance by American pop diva Lady Gaga next month in the wake of threats by Islamic extremists.
The move came as an attack by religious hardliners against lesbian Muslim author Irshad Manji prompted deep soul-searching in a country regarded as the Islamic world’s most moderate.
The threats and attacks are part of a growing trend in Indonesia for extremists to bully and intimidate anyone who does not subscribe to their hardline Islamic culture, The Age reports.
A book launch by Manji, a Canadian author, was stopped by police in Jakarta earlier this month for security reasons.
Last Wednesday, in the university town of Yogyakarta, extremist groups violently broke up a discussion and attacked its 150 attendees.
Manji’s associate, Emily Rees, was bashed with an iron bar by men wearing motorcycle helmets and face masks.
Now, National police spokesman Saud Nasution said Lady Gaga’s concert had so far been denied a permit, on the recommendation of local police.
According to the report, the move came even though 50,000 tickets had been sold.