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Religious group breaks up Base Jam performance in Aceh

Jakarta Post - July 9, 2019

Jakarta – Members of a religious group have stopped the first-ever Base Jam concert in Aceh because of the pop band's alleged violations of the region's strict Islamic law.

Aceh Police chief Sr. Comr. Trisno Riyanto said Base Jam's performance had initially run smoothly before a group of people incited a disturbance as the event drew to a close.

"The band's performance was part of the Aceh Culinary Festival. It ended as soon as several people in attendance began to incite a disturbance at the venue," Trisno said as quoted by tempo.co on Tuesday.

Several people affiliated with local religious movement Ahlussunnah Wal Jamaah (Aswaja) stormed the concert at the Ratu Safiatuddin Park in Banda Aceh on Sunday evening and demanded the performance be immediately stopped.

Aswaja head in Aceh Umar Rafsanjani said the band and the festival committee did not fulfill the terms and conditions the local administration had set beforehand.

One of the conditions required Base Jam to only perform religious songs and Aceh's traditional music, Umar said. However, he said the band still went on to perform some of their hits during the concert, including "Bukan Pujangga".

Furthermore, Umar said the band had also violated the region's Islamic law by featuring a photo of their female member, Ardhini Citrasari, without a hijab on the concert's promotional poster.

He added that the poster design was also inappropriate as it placed a photo of Base Jam right above a cartoon rendition of the iconic Baiturrahman Grand Mosque in Banda Aceh.

"The public were upset because the festival committee had broken their promise to uphold our agreement," he said.

Umar, who led his Awaja team to the concert venue that evening, said he called on the Aceh Culture and Tourism Agency to stop the band's performance to keep the conflict from escalating.

"We're upholding the Qanun [Islamic bylaw] as well as local wisdom. It is our duty to prevent any violation of Islamic law," he added.

Base Jam, a notable Indonesian pop act in the 1990s, swiftly responded to the controversy surrounding their first performance in Aceh.

"We apologize for the inconvenience our performance may have caused in Aceh. We had originally planned to perform 10 songs but ended up only performing three songs last night. We hope to be able to perform again in Aceh in better circumstances," the band said on Monday in a video posted on its official Instagram page. (rfa/jun)

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2019/07/09/religious-group-breaks-up-base-jam-performance-in-aceh.html