By Secular for (Examiner) Protests from Muslim hardliners in Indonesia have forced theMiss World beauty pageant to cancel the bikini portion of the annual contest. Indonesia will host the 2013 Miss World competition on the country’s resort island of Bali in September.
On Thursday, June 5, local organizers said all contestants will be required to wear Bali’s traditional long sarongs instead of the sexy bikinis that are traditionally part of the competition. Pageant organizers fear reprisals if they offend locals in the Muslim-majority country.
Nevertheless, clerics of the Indonesian Council of Ulema, or MUI, said they would send a letter to Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to demand that the beauty pageant be canceled.
“That contest is just an excuse to show women’s body parts that should remain covered,” said Mukri Aji, a prominent cleric from West Java province’s MUI branch. “It’s against Islamic teachings.”
Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia, a hard-line Islamic group, said it planned to stage a protest and called for the competition to be moved elsewhere.
Last November, Muslim modesty police forced Jennifer Lopez and her dancers to “cover up” in order to be allowed to perform in the Islamic country. In May of 2012, Lady Gaga canceled a scheduled concert in Jakarta rather than submit to similar demands made by the Muslim modesty police.
Indonesia is the world’s most populous Muslim nation.