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Indonesia: Muslims Lash Out At Playboy 3rd Edition

Muslims Lash Out At Playboy Indonesia's Third Edition

JAKARTA (DPA/Pacific Media Watch): Indonesian Muslim leaders strongly protested against the third edition of the Indonesia Playboy magazine, urging the police to take stern action against the editors of the U.S.-based publication, local media reports said Monday.

The July edition hit newsstands late last week, with its cover featuring a woman wearing black underpants and grey jacket without wearing a bra. Muslim hardliners described the magazine as more vulgar than the two previous editions.

"We asked the new Jakarta city police chief to continue prohibit circulation of Playboy magazine in the capital," a noted Muslim leader M Al-Kaththath told Republika, a Muslim-oriented Indonesian daily.

Deputy House Speaker Zaenal Ma'arif from the Muslim-based Star Reform
Party urged the police to take strict measures against the magazine, saying that Playboy Indonesia was "insulting and hurting the feeling among Muslims."

"The police must take a stern action and immediately shut down the
Playboy's office," Ma'arif was quoted as saying by online news portal.

Hidayat Nurwahid from the Prosperous Justice Party and chairman of the People's Consultative Assembly, accused Playboy Indonesia of violating the country's criminal laws. While others say the magazine had "intentionally provoked Muslim followers."

Indonesian police have formally named Erwin Armada, Playboy's editor in chief in Indonesia, and Kartika Gunawan, who posed in lingerie for the first edition, suspects for violating anti-indecency laws that carry sentences of up to two years and eight months in prison.

The magazine has been criticized even by some who acknowledge that is no more pornographic than other tabloids sold in the country already.

Muslim hardliners have vowed to take to the streets to protest the publication, saying that by continuing to publish, Playboy was challenging the Muslim majority in Indonesia, and that Muslims activists would "accept the challenge."

Rock-throwing protests against its first edition in April prompted the publisher to relocate Indonesian Playboy's editorial offices from
Jakarta to the predominantly Hindu Bali island.

Unlike its American version and editions in dozens of other countries, Indonesian Playboy contains no nudity.

Tabloids in Indonesia feature more explicit photos and stories. Pornographic films on video, though illegal, are sold more or less openly at stores across the country.



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