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Indonesians Rally in Protest of Anti-Porn Bill

Indonesians Rally in Protest of Anti-Porn Bill
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Oct 13, 2008 1:00 PM PDT    Text size: 
DENPASAR, Indonesia — Thousands of Indonesians attended a rally in Bali on Saturday to oppose a controversial anti-pornography bill that parliament may vote on next week, according to a report by Reuters.

Protestors from several areas of Java Island and Bali carried a 750-foot Indonesian flag and performed traditional dances in opposition of the bill described as a threat to national unity.

The anti-pornography bill meant to protect children from lewd material is being pushed by the nation’s largest political party, Golkar, and by small groups of Islamist parties in Indonesia, which is secular although predominately Muslim.

The bill includes banning public acts such as holding hands and kissing in public.

The 3-year-old anti-smut bill has been watered down from its original form and lawmakers have not passed it because of the possibility of misuse against minority groups.

It is feared that the bill could pit conservative Muslims against Muslim moderates and other minority faiths such as Hindus, Christians and tribal groups — thus violating the plural traditions of Indonesia.

Indonesia is the world’s largest Muslim majority nation, with radical Muslim groups gaining power since the 1998 demise of former President Suharto.

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