Tuesday, July 31, 2012

You are watching Halal TV

Allowing an unelected, religiously motivated group to regulate the media because there is a "similarity" with food? Brilliant! I don't see how this could possibly end up being abused or twisted. Translated from state news agency Antara:
Television shows to be broadcast in West Java are set to be stamped with the halal seal from the country’s highest Islamic authority, part of a plan to ensure “decent” programming for viewers.
Neneng Athiatul, chairwoman of the West Java Broadcasting Commission (KPID), said on Tuesday that her office was working on the halal certification with the provincial chapter of the Indonesian Council of Ulema (MUI).
“The Broadcasting Law states that all programming must respect religious values, so that’s why we believe that implementing halal certification for TV broadcasts is feasible,” she said.
Under the plan by the KPID and the MUI, only “decent” television shows that do not feature themes or images “violating norms” will get the halal stamp.
Neneng claimed this was to ensure that viewers were protected from programming that “could destroy their morals or violate decency standards.”
Salim Umar, head of the fatwa, or edict, commission at the MUI’s West Java branch, insisted the principle of awarding halal status to a TV program was the same as that for branding food as halal.
“There’s a similarity between food that is consumed by the body and [TV] programs that are consumed by the spirit,” he said. 
“Halal [methods] that are used for food can also be implemented for television programs.”
The move is the latest in ongoing efforts by Indonesian officials to regulate morality in the media and in daily life.
Earlier this year, police refused to issue a permit for Lady Gaga’s already sold-out Jakarta concert, citing alleged concerns about her moral stance.

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