Jakarta, Feb 3 (DPA) — The exhibit at the Bank Indonesia Museum in Central Jakarta raised a furore with Islamic hardliners who said the photograph depiction of Adam and Eve, who were played by an actor and actress with fig leaves covering their private parts, was an insult to Islam.
“We already summoned them as (potential) suspects months ago and from the questioning, we have enough corroborating evidence to name them suspects,” Senior Commander Mohammad Jaelani, chief of the city police general crime unit, told the Jakarta Post.
Authorities refused to release the names of the six suspects, but lawyer Todung Mulya Lubis, who will defend three of them, named the five suspects as model-actor Anjasmara, model Isabel Yahya, artist Agus Suwage, photographer Davy Linggar and art critic Jim Supangkat.
The hardline Indonesian Islamic group Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) was at the forefront of the criticism of the CP Biennale 2005 Urban/Culture exhibit held last October.
Leaders claimed the artwork violated criminal laws against insulting a religion in Indonesia and publicly displaying pornography, crimes punishable by up to five years and 18 months in prison respectively.
Anjasmara defended himself by saying that he was not completely nude during the photo shoot of Adam, who is considered a prophet by Muslims, but was wearing underwear. He also apologised to anyone whom the photograph offended, and explained that he was only trying to create art.
Some 85 percent of Indonesia’s 220 million people are Muslim, but the vast majority practice a tolerant form of the religion.
FPI, which is known for its violent attacks against nightclubs and other establishments seen as “un-Islamic”, has stepped up legal attacks on perceived cultural offences to Islam.
Late last year FPI leaders also reported the popular music band Dewa for insulting Islam by using Allah’s name on the cover of its album and filed complaints against Miss Indonesia and Miss Transvestite for insulting Muslims in the country.
© 2006 IANS India Private Limited, New Delhi. Posted on Religioscope with permission. — Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) is India’s first multinational and multilingual wire service. Website: www.ians.in. Subscription enquiries: contact IANS (mention Religioscope).