Critics Continue Decrying Indonesian Pornography Bill

JAKARTA - Monday's gathering of activists opposed to the "Pornography Bill" being legislated by the Indonesian government elicited criticisms of the bill as one that was "unnecessary, legally inappropriate and would threaten the country's stability," according to The Jakarta Post.

Hendardi, head of the Setara Institute for Democracy and Peace, told reporters that the articles contained in the bill were "open to so many interpretations. It creates uncertainty instead of unity.

"Our standpoint is clear," he continued. "We are completely against pornography. But this bill is not the answer to our problems."

The law would allow "pornography" in the arts, religious ceremonies and education, but according to its critics, is too nebulous in its definition of such.

Women's rights activist Yenny Rosa Damayanti asserted that the law categorizes pornography as "light" and "heavy," but fails to provide any clear definition of what pornography is. "Whose perspective are we using here?" she asked. "How can we categorize something so vague? This law allows women to be criminalized for their actions. What if they were forced, victims of trafficking or victims of hidden cameras?"

Added Islamic scholar and long-time anti-pornography activist Musdah Mulia, "If the government thinks the bill can fix our nation's moral decadence, they are on the wrong track. I could go on and on analyzing the bill from an Islamic point of view and still come up with the conclusion that the bill is mubazir (unnecessary)."

Argued artist and women's rights activist Ratna Sarumpael, "Let's just use the available laws and strengthen our law enforcement. For example, if we really abided by the law regulating our media, we wouldn't be seeing half-naked women on the covers of magazines sold freely on the streets."