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April 21, 2010 - Muslim organization Muhammadiyah has declared the upcoming Jakarta concert by US entertainer Kelly Clarkson as forbidden under Islam because it promotes smoking.
As we reported on April 19th America's singing sweetheart Kelly Clarkson is set to perform in Tennis Indoors Senayan, Jakarta, Indonesia on the 29 April 2010. Unfortunately the concert is being sponsored and promoted by the cigarette brand Djarum LA Lights. (Singer Kelly Clarkson will she perform concert in Indonesia sponsored by major tobacco company..)
Yanuar Ilyas, head of the fatwa department at Muhammadiyah, Indonesia’s second largest Muslim organization, said as it had previously declared smoking haram (forbidden), all things related to it were also forbidden, adding that it was not necessary to issue a new fatwa (religious edict). (Indonesia - second largest Muslim organization launched a fatwa against smoking..)
Yanuar also said that associating the famous singer with the cigarette brand L.A. Lights, was “a clear phenomenon that the cigarette company is attempting to recruit younger people.”
The ban will have little impact on the concert actually going ahead, however, with the vast majority of religious rulings ignored. It will, however, create additional pressure those behind the concert to remove the offending advertising. The concert promoters behind the controversial concert on April 29 say they are expecting to be able to release a statement on the issue later this afternoon.
A spokeswoman for promoters JAVA Musikindo said they were discussing the controversy and were expecting to make a statement soon. Promoter Adrie Subono, however, did tweet on the social networking Web site Twitter, that “2,513 of my hairs fell out, I have a headache.”
The promoters have used Clarkson’s fame to erect giant banners and billboards depicting the singer’s image and advertising for the cancer-causing products.
President Matt Myers Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids: “If Kelly Clarkson goes ahead with the concert, she is by choice being a spokesman for the tobacco industry and helping them to market to children.” “She has the power now to turn this situation around and to send a clear message to Indonesian young people and, frankly, to the young people of the world.” (Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is involved with tobacco control throughout the world..)
As smoking has declined in many Western countries, it has risen in Indonesia — about 63 percent of all men light up and one-third of the overall population smokes, an increase of 26 percent since 1995. Smoking-related illnesses kill at least 200,000 annually in a nation of 235 million.
This is not the first time cigarette sponsorship has drawn controversy in the capital - Jakarta. In 2008, Alicia Keys was forced to “apologize for any misleading advertising initially associated with the show” after Philip Morris International advertisements for its A Mild cigarettes appeared on promotional billboards and posters for her concert. (Alicia Keys - Jakarta Concert (July 31st) tobacco companies forced to withdraw sponsorship..)
Clarkson is yet to comment on the latest controversy.
Reference: Kelly Clarkson Concert 'Banned' Under Islamic Law, Nurfika Osman & Cameron Bates, Jakarta Globe, 4/21/2010.
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