Conflict & Justice

Islamic vigilantes: Lady Gaga is "voodoo doll" that must be "destroyed"


Murhali Barda, member of Indonesian vigilante group Islamic Defenders Front, has vowed via Facebook to attend and thwart a pending Lady Gaga concert in Jakarta. This photo, posted from his Facebook account, depicts a masked man holding tickets to the event. He was charged with inciting 2010 attacks on a Christian church that left one pastor stabbed and another badly bludgeoned.

By now, Islamic hardliners' threats to Lady Gaga's pending June 3 concert in Muslim-majority Indonesia are well documented.

For a primer, I suggest my recent post titled "Lady Gaga, Zionist Agent."

As the concert nears, the rhetoric alleging Gaga's satanic influence on Indonesian youth has grown more outrageous.

Helping lead the crusade is Murhali Barda, a particularly attention-hungry member of the vigilante group Islamic Defenders Front.

Murhali, according to the Jakarta Globe, has led his followers to purchase 150 tickets to Lady Gaga's concert with the intent to shut down the performance. (He explains via Facebook that, naturally, they won't actually watch the show. They'll just disrupt it.)

He warns that Gaga is a "voodoo doll," driven by an unseen mastermind, and that righteous Muslims must "first destroy the doll" to attack the powers that influence the pop diva. These threats were accompanied by a photo of a masked man -- Murhali himself? -- displaying a newly purchased ticket to her show.

He's also posted this collage of Gaga squeezed between two glowing Satan heads.

Given Murhali's history, it's difficult to dismiss this as just another Facebook rant.

Last year, Murhali was sentenced for inciting attacks on a Christian church that left one pastor stabbed and another bludgeoned. He did not appear remorseful in court. Back in 2010, Global Post ran video of the attack -- which includes footage of Murhali -- along with a piece on the Islamic Defenders Front.

It's still unclear whether or not Gaga will perform. If she decides to take the stage, I suspect she will be suitably protected by police and her own security team.

The risk may fall upon her "Little Monsters" (read: Gaga mega-fans) that could be targeted by men who feel a righteous calling to cause unrest.

Murhali's followers have already proven their willingness to violently chase down fellow Indonesians that are not pious enough for their liking.