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Last Updated: Friday, 7 April 2006, 09:57 GMT 10:57 UK
Heated row at Indonesian Playboy
The magazine's director, Erwin Arnada, holds the first edition
The publishers urged readers to take a look at the content
The launch of a version of Playboy magazine in Indonesia has sparked a heated reaction in the world's most-populous Muslim nation.

Muslim leaders condemned the publication as "moral terrorism" that destroyed the nation's way of life.

But some readers were unimpressed by the toned-down content. One radio caller said he had been deceived as there were no nude women.

Indonesia had seen a number of street protests ahead of Friday's launch.

The launch edition carried pictures of women with shots of midriffs, thighs and cleavage.

But some readers complained that a number of other magazines already on sale in the country were more revealing.

Many Muslim leaders, though, remained bitterly opposed to the launch.

This magazine is going to be popular. People are only hearing the name and allowing their blood to boil
Herbert, vendor

One, Yusuf Hasyim, told the state news agency Antara: "This is a kind of moral terrorism that destroys the way of life of the nation in a systematic and long-term way."

However, he urged protesters not to attack news outlets selling the magazine.

One hardline group, the Islamic Defenders Front, has threatened to remove issues by force.

Spokesman Tubagus Muhamad Sidik said: "The first edition might be tame, but it will get more vulgar.

"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."

Sensitivity

But the seriousness of the articles - including one on the reconciliation between Indonesia and East Timor - did not please some readers.

A Muslim protester displays a defaced Playboy logo during an anti-pornography rally in Jakarta
News of the launch had drawn street protests

A caller to Jakarta's 68H radio said: "It's a scandal! There's 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."

Some news outlet owners have been wary of selling the edition, given its sensitivity.

One Jakarta seller, Ronni, told the Reuters news agency: "I am afraid that after we take the copies from the agent, [militants] will confiscate them."

The publishers of Playboy, which has 17 other international editions, have tried to cool the row.

Promotion manager Avianto Nugroho said: "Let the people look at it and see what they think, hopefully they will accept it. If there are demonstrations, we will try to meet their demands."

About 30 police have been deployed to guard the Playboy offices.

The government is taking a cautious approach.

Youth and sports minister Adhyaksa Dault said it was monitoring the content and would try to find a way to defuse any anger.

One person who was unfazed by the content was the father of cover girl Andhara Early.

He told the website Detik.com: "To me [the pictures] are more arty."


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
See the attack on Playboy's Jakarta office




SEE ALSO:
Playboy sparks Indonesia porn row
07 Feb 06 |  Asia-Pacific
China officials halt Playboy club
09 Dec 04 |  Business
Playboy Magazine: Cover-up?
09 May 03 |  Newsmakers



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