Hundreds of Muslims protest against Indonesian Playboy

Around 500 Islamic activists demonstrated Monday against a plan to launch a local version of the American pornographic magazine Playboy in the world's most populous Muslim nation. The demonstrators, all members of a conservative Muslim political party, also demanded the parliament quickly pass tough laws currently under debate to crackdown on existing pornographic magazines and VCDs, which are widely available throughout the country.

The protesters, many of which had brought their children with them, rallied at a traffic circle in the center of Jakarta.

"Plans to publish (Playboy) will harm the morals of the Muslims of Indonesia," said protest organizer Ledia Hanifa. "We don't need porn magazines here." Publishers of the proposed Indonesian version of Playboy have said it would respect Muslim values and not contain nude images like most of its other international editions do.

Indonesian versions of foreign magazines like FHM and Maxim, as well as scores of local magazines, regularly feature pictures of scantily clad women.

Parliament is currently debating a set of laws that would define pornography and ban it, replacing currently regulations that date back to the Dutch era. Ensuring the laws are passed is a key demand of local Muslim parties, reports the AP. I.L.

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