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Indonesia: Anti-porn crusader caught viewing porn resigns

A conservative Indonesian lawmaker, Arifinto, resigned Monday after he was photographed watching porn on his computer during a sitting of parliament.

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Hundreds of Indonesian Islamists, some carrying banners saying "Stop free sex," rally in central Jakarta on June 22, 2010 to demand the stoning to death and public caning of celebrities who allegedly appear in homemade sex videos circulating online. About 1,000 protesters led by radical group Hizbut Tahrir shouted 'Allahu akbar' (God is greater) and brandished black flags and banners with slogans such as "Arrest those who commit promiscuous sex." (Romeo Gacad/AFP/Getty Images)

A conservative Indonesian lawmaker resigned Monday after he was photographed watching porn on his computer during a sitting of parliament.

As punishment, Arifinto, a member of a religious Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) that is promoting anti-pornography laws, has reportedly been ordered to recite the Quran from cover to cover within 30 days. 

The order came from the PKS Central Sharia Council, according to the Jakarta Post. The council also ordered Arifinto to give alms to 60 poor people and to ask for religious advice from the party’s muftis.

According to the Daily News, the scandal has been dominating headlines and chatter on news blogs around Indonesia, which has the world's biggest Muslim population.

Arifinto, 50, who goes by one name, said he had inadvertently opened an email link which led him to the images, according to the BBC.

He reportedly later apologized and, at a hastily arranged news conference, said he was stepping down. "It's my decision," said the father of five, according to the Daily News. "Nobody tried to coerce me."

The PKS has been the driving force behind anti-pornography legislation, and along with other conservative parties targeted the former editor of an Indonesian edition of Playboy magazine, which carried no nudity, the BBC reported.

In late January, the pop singer Nazril Irham, or Ariel, was jailed for three and a half years for making sex tapes with celebrity girlfriends that spread wildly on the internet. He denied distributing the videos, saying they had been stolen.

The case led to a wide crackdown on Internet porn. The Blackberry telephone provider, Research In Motion (RIM), was told by the government to prevent pornographic content from being made available through their devices if they wanted to keep distributing in Indonesia.

The Ariel case also highlighted a divide between a youthful Indonesia, which opposes internet censorship, and conservative pressure groups.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/indonesia/110411/porn-indonesia-pornography-internet-sex-politics-arifinto-quran