The Null Device
Playboy in Indonesia
A furore has erupted with the publication of the Indonesian edition of Playboy
. While it is a lot tamer than Western editions (the excuse of buying it only for the articles would probably be more plausible there), Islamists are still calling for severe punishments for all involved, and the editor and centrefold model are facing imprisonment:
The magazine has been targeted by opponents as a symbol of Western decadence and the row has led to calls for tough anti-pornography laws outlawing "sensual behaviour", revealing clothing, even kissing in public. It is part of a concerted push to impose sharia law throughout Indonesia, a campaign that Abu Bakar Bashir, the former spiritual leader of the Jemaah Islamiah terrorist network, vowed to spearhead on his release from prison last month.
Rock-throwing protesters tried to ransack Playboy's Jakarta office when the first edition appeared in April, so Arnada relocated to the more tolerant island of Bali.
He published a second edition last month, with numerous blank pages after advertisers withdrew their support following threats by the Islamic Defenders Front.
Meanwhile, feminist groups there have spoken out in the defense of Playboy.
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