Saturday, September 7, 2013

Indonesian Muslims hold anti-Miss World protest

Muslim women chant slogans during a protest demanding the cancellation of the Miss World pageant that will be held in Bali and Sentul
Indonesian Muslim hard-liners staged a protest Tuesday in the country's capital to try to stop the holding of the Miss World pageant this weekend on the resort island of Bali. The competition will be held partly on Bali, with the final round set for Sept. 28 on the outskirts of Jakarta.

More than 200 members of several Muslim hard-line groups organized by the Islamic Society Forum staged a rally and march on the MNC Tower, the building that houses the local organizer of the contest.

Protests also were held in the Sumatran cities of Medan and Pekanbaru, and in Makassar in Sulawesi. Protesters gathered at local council buildings and called on the government to revoke the permit for the contest saying that the pageant runs against their culture.

The Indonesian Ulema Council, the country's most influential clerics group, urged the government to cancel the event, saying the exposure of skin by women in such a competition violates Islamic teachings, even after organizers agreed to cut the bikini competition and instead outfit contestants in more conservative sarongs.

The chairwoman of the Miss World Organization, Julia Morley, earlier confirmed that none of the contestants would wear a bikini.