Playboy Pressured by Jakarta Police to Delay Publishing

Gretchen Gallen
JAKARTA – After setting off a furor in this predominantly Muslim nation, Playboy is being asked by police to postpone publishing its next issue until protests over the magazine’s launch in Jakarta subside.

The controversy stems from an attack on Playboy’s offices earlier this month when several hundred militant Islamists attacked and vandalized the building in protest of the magazine’s debut on local newsstands.

The protest against Playboy was organized by members of the Islamic Defenders Front, often known for its violent tactics in stomping out any form of sexual expression.

Jakarta Police Chief Firman Gani said that if Playboy does not pay heed to the official warning to postpone publishing, he will take up the matter with a higher authority.

Gani told the local press that a delay in the next publishing cycle of the magazine would enable authorities to investigate whether Playboy had violated any local obscenity or indecency laws, among them several nationwide efforts to make pornography illegal.

No arrests of protestors or vandals have yet taken place, Gani said.

The protests took place over the course of two days and involved window breaking and rock throwing. According to reports, no one on the magazine’s staff was injured because they had already vacated the premises.

Playboy is not the only Western magazine brand to grace Jakarta newsstands, including men's magazines FHM and Maxim. Gani said that if those magazines spur “public restlessness" they too will be investigated.

Gani said that Playboy staff are being protected by Jakarta police until the matter is settled.