The launch of Playboy magazine, Indonesia, has sparked a heated reaction in the world's most populus Muslim nation.Muslim leaders condemned the publication as "moral terrorism" that destroys the nation's way of life.A group of 150 Muslims from the Islamic Defenders' Front made a peaceful protest in April this year.
The first edition went on sale April 12, featuring scantily dressed women, with no nudity, and seemed milder than other hot magazines already on sale in the country.Yet many Islamic preachers were against the publication of Playboy due to the reputation of the name alone, which provided sufficient grounds for it being banned by the government.
The chairman of Nahdlatul Ulama, the country's largest Muslim organization, said, "Indonesia is different from Europe or America, where the culture and attitudes towards nudity are totally different from ours. [Playboy] simply has no place within our social norms."
The Indonesian Council of Clerics, the country's highest Islamic body, said that it disagreed with the publication of the magazine, regardless of its content. "We reject Playboy magazine because it is an icon of pornography," said Maruf Amin, the head of the Council's fatwa section. "By insisting on publication, they are daring to face the opposition of society," he said.
However, some readers came out with some unexpected comments. One caller complained to Jakarta's 68H radio, "It's a scandal! There are no nude women in the magazine. I think we have been deceived." Another said, "It's sinful to read Playboy if there's no nudity."
Magazine seller Ferry Abdullah, who hawks magazines in the traffic jam along the motorway in West Jakarta, laughed off the objections: "It's the porno that sells the best."
Eddy Suprapto, head of Alliance of Independent Journalists, believes the opposition is ignorant, xenophobic, and hypocritical. "It's irrational hatred of a Western product. They don't know if it's good or bad. They just associate the name [Playboy] with pornography."
The owner and publisher of Playboy also insists that the Indonesian version respects the social values of the Muslims!
Despite the assurances given by the publishers of Playboy that it respects Muslim values, the magazine is still an obscenity that promotes moral corruption in society. The scantily dressed women will soon lead to nakedness.
Trying to improve on their credibility, advocates of the magazine refer to serious issues that will be covered, such as economic problems in the 160-page magazine with 18 pages for modestly dressed women. Is there such a thing as half-corruption? Corruption is corruption, and Islamically there is no such thing as mixing of the good and the bad.
An Islamic social system promotes a healthy balanced environment. This enables both men and women to develop their physical and mental abilities in a peaceful, un-harassed environment. In this way, both men and women are more able to fulfill their roles in the building of society.
The Qur'an warned the believers against following in the steps of Shaytan, who commands what is indecent and evil.
Forms of Adultery
The word adultery implies only a physical union between a man and a woman, but morally speaking, every inclination towards a member of the opposite sex outside of marriage is tantamount to adultery. To enjoy the beauty of another woman with one's eyes, to relish the sweetness of her voice with one's ears, to gain pleasure through conversing with her, and to walk frequently on the street where she lives — are all preliminaries to adultery, nay adultery itself.
"Envy extinguishes the light of good deeds, and oppression confirms or falsifies it. The eye commits fornication, and the palm of the hand, the foot, body, tongue and private parts of the body confirm it or deny it." (Abu Dawud 42, 4886)
"A fornicator who fornicates is not a believer as long as he commits fornication, and no one who steals is a believer as long as he commits theft, and no one who drinks wine is a believer as long as he drinks it, and repentance may be accepted after that." (Muslim 1, 0109)
"What are the rights of the way?" He (peace and blessings be upon him) said, "They are the lowering of your gazes (on seeing what is illegal to look at), refraining from harming people, returning greetings, advocating good, and forbidding evil." (Al-Bukhari 3:43, 645)
What position does this place the girls who "offer" their bodies to Playboy magazine? Then add to that the licensers, owners, editors, distributors, promoters, and the consumers of the magazine. They all bear the responsibility by making this magazine available, accessible. Allah Most High says in the Qur'an:
[Do not follow the footsteps of Shaytan; and whoever follows the footsteps of the Shaytan, then surely he bids the doing of indecency and evil.] (An-Nur 24:21)