JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesian Muslim hard-liners resumed protests Thursday against the Miss World pageant, as organizers insisted that the event would go on as scheduled this weekend on the resort island of Bali.

In Jakarta, the capital, about 1,000 members of the Islamic group Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia rallied outside the building housing the local organizer of the contest.

Chanting "Allah Akbar," or "God is great," the protesters, mostly women, waved banners reading "Reject Miss World."

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.

The local organizer, MNC media group, said it was not possible to cancel the contest or move the location, and that the government had pledged to provide security for the event.

"I think there is a misunderstanding," Hary Tanoesoedibjo, head of MNC, told reporters Wednesday in Bali. "I assure that there will be nothing that runs against our culture. I would not accept if there was a bikini show."

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

The competition will be held partly on Bali, with the final round set for Sept. 28 on the outskirts of Jakarta.

"The contest will not be different from other beauty pageants in Indonesia," said Budi Rusmanto, an organizer in Jakarta. "The only difference is the participants."

Rejection of the event has come not only from hard-line groups, but also from the country's most influential clerics' group, the Indonesia Ulema Council, whose fatwas, or edicts, are followed by many devoted Muslims.

Last week, the council urged the government to cancel the contest, 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.

Most Muslims in Indonesia, a secular country of 240 million people and the world's most populous Islamic country, are moderate, but a small extremist fringe has become more vocal in recent years.

On Wednesday, hundreds of protesters took to the streets in Surabaya, Indonesia's second-largest city, and Bandung, the West Java capital, while on Tuesday hundreds rallied in Jakarta.

The Islamic Defenders Front, a hard-line group with a long record of vandalizing nightspots, hurling stones at Western embassies and attacking rival religious groups, has pledged to disrupt the event if it is held in Indonesia.

Bali police spokesman Col. Hariadi said there have been no signs of security threats and that police are guarding all airports and seaports on the tourist island.

"Security around locations set for activities of the event and the participants as well will be optimized," said Hariadi, who uses one name.

About News.net

Publishing Services International Limited (PSIL) is the publisher and operator of a worldwide network of online news sites dedicated to delivering fair, accurate and relevant reporting from a variety of the world’s most trusted sources – from the biggest cities to the smallest towns.

We deliver positive and powerful messages to our readers, providing up‑to‑the‑second news that matters to the individual.

Our promise is to serve communities and individuals worldwide, delivering information that hasn’t always been available to them. We will give them back a voice – a voice that’s empowering because it is theirs – and provide a platform to communicate between themselves and the world.

We believe people are not just generic demographics; they are individuals with their own preferences and curiosities. We are about understanding these individuals, listening to them, and serving them.

We are the new pioneering spirit of news – we’re not talking to everyone, we’re talking with every one.

If you want your news, your voice, your way, on your time – we’ve got news for you.

 

FAQs

Email

If you have any questions or concerns please email us on support@news.net

Phone

  • Australia, Toll Free 1-800-983-421
  • Hong Kong, Toll Free 800-906-187
  • Singapore, Toll Free 800-852-3871
  • USA/Canada, Toll Free 1-800-830-4132

Advertise With Us

Interested in being awesome?
Contact us by email or phone.

Cancel