Indonesian militants grab their sticks over porn vids

Our stick-wielding friends at the Islamic Defenders Front are up in arms again, this time over celebrity porn videos that have appeared on the internet.

The Islamist thugs have accused the unknown distributers of the sexy videos of waging “moral terrorism” on Indonesia’s youth.

The videos show Nazril Ariel, the popular leader of local band Peterpan, getting down and dirty with his model girlfriend Luna Maya, and on a separate occasion with his model ex-girlfriend Cut Tari.

Ariel reportedly filmed the scenes with his mobile phone while in the act, but it’s not clear how they got onto the internet. Ariel and Luna appeared on TV Monday to express their shock over the scandal, although the police have said the videos are not fakes.

That’s all beside the point. What is very clear is that Indonesians have been avidly downloading and sharing the clips despite a 2008 law fixing harsh prison sentences for anyone who makes or distributes pornography.

True to form, the police have engaged in pointless raids on high schools to search students’ mobile phone memory cards for the videos. As if that was going to achieve anything!

Islamists in the cabinet have used the scandal to push for tighter controls of the internet, citing the Australian and Singaporean models as examples.

Now the Islamic Defenders Front have taken up the cudgels in defence of public morality, forgetting once again that no one has asked them to defend anyone’s morality and that in fact what they are doing is completely illegal.

“If the police cannot arrest Ariel, Luna and Cut Tari within three days, we are going to raid places that sell porn videos in Jakarta,” Front chief Habib Salim was quoted as saying on The Jakarta Globe website.

“Porn actors and actresses are another form of terrorism. This is moral terrorism. We have to save the citizens from any harm that will degrade our morality.”

What I call terrorism is a group of armed religious fanatics running around the city I live in threatening to enforce their own twisted version of morality.

And the only moral degradation I can see is the Indonesian state’s craven failure to remove these violent vigilantes from our midst once and for all.

(Photo thanks to squid697 via flickr)

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