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Was Nazi Imagery Used in a Remake of Queen’s ‘We Will Rock You’ for an Indonesian Political Ad?

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(Romeo Gacad/AFP/Getty Images)

(Romeo Gacad/AFP/Getty Images)

By Jeremy D. Larson

Music, especially punk and metal music, have used Nazi, Satanic, anarchist and all kinds of imagery and iconography to shock fans for years, but for a famous Indonesian Idol judge, the message is a bit muddier.

The music video below features Indonesian Idol judge and rock star Ahmad Dhani and three other singers chanting, “Prabowo-Hatta! Indonesia bangkit!” (Prabowo-Hatta! Rise up Indonesia!) to the tune of Queen’s “We Will Rock You.” It’s a campaign ad for Presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto and his running mate, Hatta Rajasa.

The video had been up for a while but the German magazine Der Spiegel called attention to it on Tuesday (June 24) noticing that Dhani’s black uniform jacket was strikingly similar to that of infamous SS leader Heinrich Himmler.

Queen guitarist Brian May, quite obviously, was quick to distance himself from the ad, saying on Twitter, “Of course this is completely unauthorized by us.”

 

It’s a little unclear whether the video actually uses Nazi iconography. The eagle that one of the men holds in the beginning is more than likely the Garuda Pancasila — the National emblem of Indonesia — and not the Hoheitszeichen which was adopted by the National Socialist party. As far as Dhani’s coat? That’s a little unclear.

Watch the clip below.

 

The Rappler reports that Dradjad Wibowo, the director for policy and programs of Prabowo’s campaign, was quoted by Indonesian news portal Kompas.com as saying, “If it is really a Nazi clothing, we will ask Dhani to change the video and perhaps he needs to apologize.”

This underscores the somewhat sordid past of Prabowo Subianto, who has admitted to ordering the abduction of democracy activists in the twilight of the three-decade Suharto dictatorship in 1998, and has also been accused of human rights abuses in the famously war-torn and oppressed region of East Timor.

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