FPI Proves Tough Crowd for Indonesian Comedian

By webadmin on 05:47 pm Jun 26, 2012
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Bayu Marhaenjati

“Pesbukers” host Olga Syahputra may be a comedian, but a recent joke that likened Muslims to beggars is no laughing matter, the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) said on Tuesday.

On a June 19 episode of his show, Olga made fun of Dangdut singer Julia Perez, telling the entertainer that she sounded like a beggar when she answered the phone with the Islamic greeting “assalamu’alaikum.”

“You keep saying assalamu’alaikum. You sound like a beggar,” Olga told Julia during the show’s June 19 broadcast.

The joke was offensive to Muslims, Habib Salim bin Umar Alatas, head of the FPI’s Jakarta branch, told Beritasatu.com.

The hard-line group plans to report the comedian to the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPI), he said.

“Olga should apologize. Just ask Olga whether he was sorry,” Habib Salim
said.

The FPI said that the Olga incident was the latest in a series of television shows that are insulting to Muslims. Habib Salim plans to discuss these television programs with the KPI later this week.

“We will ask the KPI for feedback about not only Olga’s case, but [about] a lot of shows on television stations that are insulting religion. There are many programs that harass [religion] and we are going to ask about them,” Habib said.

But social activist Ratna Sarumpaet said the FPI was only focused on Olga because he had money.

“It’s a matter of money. Olga’s got a lot of money. The FPI will always find fault with him. [The joke] is not a legal problem, it’s just a matter of ethics,” she explained.

She doubted that Olga intended to hurt anyone’s feelings with the statement.

“I know Olga very well. He’s a good kid. I’m sure he did not mean to do anything insulting,” Ratna said.