INDONESIA: Islamic protesters hurl abuse at Indonesia's first Playboy centerfold model

Conservatives still up in arms over magazine's existence in Islamic nation

The Jakarta Post
Friday, January 19, 2007

Jakarta --- Islamic protesters hurled abuse at Playboy magazine's first Indonesian centerfold Thursday, calling her a prostitute and saying they hoped her daughter would be raped.

Andhara Early did not respond to demonstrators -- among them several women wearing Islamic headscarves -- as she left the South Jakarta District Court after testifying in the indecency trial of editor Playboy's Indonesia editor, Erwin Arnada.

Islamic conservatives loudly protested what they dubbed a global icon of pornography when a toned down version of Playboy hit the streets in the world's most populous Muslim nation last year.

Arnada could face 32 months in prison if convicted of violating indecency laws by publishing the magazine, which typically contains several shots of women in swimsuits or underwear along with feature articles.

Thursday's appearance by Early was the first by a model at the trial.

Protesters called Early a "cheap prostitute" who would go to hell and said "I hope your daughter gets raped." She later told reporters that the taunts had upset her.

Her testimony, like that of other witnesses at the trial, is closed to the media and the public.

Indonesia is a secular country with a population of some 190 million Muslims. While most practice a moderate form of the faith, conservatives are pushing hard to impose strict Islamic law.