religions in Index
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Time: 9:50:11 PM
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The following text is from the CNN news
JAKARTA, Indonesia. Tens thousands of conservative Muslims rallied in the Indonesian capital Sunday in support of a proposed anti pornography bill that critics say would chip away at the country's secular traditions. The protesters, who arrived in buses organized by mosques and conservative Islamic groups, urged parliament to immediately pass the bill, that in its current form would ban kissing in public as well as erotic poetry, dancing, drawing, writing, photos and film. Organizers said 1 million people would attend the demonstration. Turnout appeared far less than that, perhaps 100,000, but it was still one of the largest shows of force by conservative Islam in recent years. "Pornography is part of the culture of the West and the unbelievers," said demonstrator (Choi- rul) (Ha- ssan). "They are exporting this to Indonesia to destroy a whole generation of Muslim youth. They must be stopped." Some demonstrators carried banners calling for the imposition of Islamic law in the country, which is home to some 190 million Muslims -- more than any other country in the world -- but also has significant Christian, Hindu and Buddhist minorities. "Ban pornography and stop the sex industry," they shouted. "Down with liberalism and secularism," read one banner in support of the bill, which has become a rallying call for the country's growing hardliner fringe. The bill, which was originally drafted in 1999 following the downfall of previous dictator Suharto, is facing opposition from nationalist law makers, who form a majority in the house, and is unlikely to pass as in its current form. Those opposed to the bill include the country's minority faiths, liberal Muslim groups, artists and several outlying regions which fear their traditional dances and culture may be criminalized. They note the country already has laws banning pornography, and say that the police should simply enforce them better.