the xlog : x-rated weblog

a twisted and humorous look at sex, pornography, and the world in general

April 9, 2006

Muslim Indonesia Gets Playboy Magazine

Filed under: sex news — Simon @ 2:47 pm

Playboy in IndonesiaWhile the first U.S. editions showed more skin than the new Indonesian , that sure didn’t stop some people there from grabbing them up as soon as they went on sale. And it didn’t stop others from being completely outraged about the very idea of Playboy being allowed in their country.

The Indonesian version of the magazine doesn’t even expose a nipple, so forget about any full frontal nudity here. And yet there are still people saying the very name Playboy is something they object to.

Full story available below.

Tame Playboy sparks excitement in Muslim Indonesia - Yahoo! News
By Jerry Norton
Fri Apr 7, 8:41 AM ET

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Playboy magazine may no longer rate on the sexual cutting edge in some places, but the first edition in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, caused a stir Friday.

Although the pictures inside showed less skin than U.S. issues 50 years ago, copies were being passed from desk to desk in Jakarta offices, high demand was reported, and newspapers and broadcasters dwelt at length on the Indonesian issue.

A leader of one militant Islamic group threatened to use force, if necessary, to get the magazine withdrawn.

Like the iconic original, the Indonesian Playboy included a serious interview, in-depth articles and color pictures of women, including a fold-out. But no nipples were exposed in the photos, let alone anything approaching full nudity.

“I didn’t see any surprising thing in this magazine. It depends on how people interpret it. For me, no problem,” Alex, a white-collar worker who did not want to give his full name, told Reuters Television.

A 40-year-old housewife, Maya, disapproved. “Surely it is against the new anti-pornography law,” she said.

Condemnation also came from Chamammah Soeratno, head of the women’s wing of major Muslim moderate group Muhammadiyah.

“Everyone knows it’s a pornographic magazine. The first edition may not have any nudity. That’s a very clever move by the publishers,” she told Reuters.

Indonesia’s parliament is debating a law to significantly tighten control of media as well as public behavior in an effort to reduce what its proponents see as .


Indonesia has many magazines on news stands that go further than the new Playboy in the sexual content of their articles and at least as far in their pictures.

In fact, magazine and newspaper agent Azis, 41, told Reuters Playboy was not different enough from an existing upscale Indonesian men’s magazine, Matra.

But even months ago the Playboy image and its Western origin had sparked protests at the mere news of plans for the Indonesian edition, despite promises of a tame version.

Around 85 percent of Indonesia’s 220 million people follow Islam. Although most are moderates, there is a growing tendency toward showing Islamic identity and conservative attitudes.

The government is officially secular and tolerant of other religions, and pressure to make laws more in line with orthodox beliefs has been a regular source of controversy in recent years.

Some militant groups have taken things into their own hands on occasion by, for example, attacking unlicensed churches and bars selling alcohol during the Muslim fasting period.

“I am afraid to sell the first edition because it has been reported that the Islamic organizations would be on alert,” said newsstand owner Ronni, 30, who operates near the headquarters of a hardline Muslim group, the Islamic Defenders’ Front (FPI).

Tubagus Sidiq, a senior leader of FPI, told Reuters: “FPI opposes (Playboy) in whatever form.”

“According to our commitment, if they don’t withdraw it then we will act in our own way, the forceful way. Our crew will clearly hound the editors … We even oppose the name Playboy.”

The government took a different view.

“The laws that we can use in this case (are) whether there is a publication that violates decency. So, we need to check the content first. Just using the name is insufficient to ban it,” Information Minister Sofyan Djalil told reporters.

Bambang Kuncoko, a national police spokesman, said at a news conference that “the public should follow the law and must not take arbitrary actions. If that happens, the police will absolutely take legal actions.”

Late Friday afternoon about 20 FPI protesters, outnumbered by journalists covering them, showed up at the Playboy publishers offices, and local news radio said a representative team met with the magazine’s editors.

Despite regular campaigns against pornography, many sidewalk vendors in Indonesia stock sexually explicit movies and the country has a flourishing sex industry.

Founded in 1953, Playboy has about 20 editions around the world that cater to local tastes.

original story at

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