April 12, 2006
Indonesia Muslim Hardliners Attack Playboy Building
JAKARTA -- About 300 hard-line Indonesian Muslims vandalized a building housing the office of Playboy magazine on Wednesday in a protest against its publication in the world's most populous Muslim nation.
Clad in white shirts and skull caps the protesters threw rocks at the front lobby, breaking the windows of the building in the south of Jakarta several days after the magazine hit news-stands for the first time.
Shouting "Allahu Akbar" (God is Greatest), the protesters also ripped apart several copies of the Indonesian Playboy, which unlike the U.S. original does not show any nudity.
Despite being a much tamer version, the magazine sold out very quickly, partly thanks to controversy surrounding its publication and protests from some Muslim groups.
Apart from Playboy, Indonesia already had its own versions of men's magazines Maxim and FHM, as well as homegrown publications, which feature color pictures of women in minimal clothing.
Members of the hard-line Muslim group that organized the demonstration, the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), are known for taking laws into their own hands, for example by attacking bars selling alcohol during the Muslim fasting period, and massage parlors.
Dozens of police were on the scene when the militants carried out the attack but did not make any arrests.
South Jakarta police chief Wiliardi Wizard told Reuters he would question the leader of the group in relation to the incident and detain the perpetrators.
"If they can hand over the perpetrators then that's good. Otherwise we'll have to hunt them," he said.
(with additional reporting by Telly Nathalia)