As we all know by now, Lady Gaga pulled the plug on her Indonesian concert.
Supposedly, the Jakarta show was to be the biggest stop on her Asian tour. The news went viral on the radio, on my Twitter timeline, newspaper headlines and on international news — it keeps coming up on the running text on CNN. If there was life on planet Mars, the Gaga news would surely travel there too.
How could a small group of religious extremists act as if they’re the ones running the nation? How could a cabinet minister, Tifatul Sembiring, say things like, “Alhamdulillah… [Lady Gaga cancelled her show]?”
But most of all, how can I still love Indonesia?
It was never really about Lady Gaga, not from the very beginning. I’m not a Gaga fan, not even a tiny bit, but looking at all the phenomenons that unraveled these past couple weeks, I felt devastated by the way things operate here.
I have tried to analyze what is wrong with us as a country, and dug deep to find what really influenced this madness in the first place. It led me to think that this situation wouldn’t be such a mess if the members of hard-line religious groups, as human beings, were eager to use their logic and utilize their knowledge to broaden their horizons.
These people, led by small-minded leaders, are trapped inside their own box. They do what they’re told. They have lost their ability to learn, to be skeptics, to question things. If their leader said “A,” they will believe and do “A.” There’s no exploration, just a plain “A.” Period.
Did you see the rallies? They’re men on fire, fueled by hatred and not by holy spirit. They love to set fire to their hearts. They don’t preach, they dictate.
Through this opportunity, I would like to challenge those whose hearts are filled with hatred and darkness, to set fire to their brain. Read books. Find proper teachers. Be a lifetime learner. Make mistakes and correct them. Hunt for information. Stop being judgmental. Stop making baseless allegations.
And most importantly, don’t act as if it’s on behalf of God.
Bearing posters “Go To Hell” in demonstrations is not making you better than most people. Religious defenders are supposedly spreading peace and love, not hatred.
This is our task, people of Indonesia, to raise that awareness.
Songstress Adele won six Grammy awards last February by “setting fire to the rain.” She truly is one of a kind. But you don’t have to be as talented as she is to touch people’s hearts. You can do something for your community by setting fire to your brain.