The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Nation & World

August 27, 2013

Indonesian clerics call for ban of Miss World

JAKARTA, Indonesia — One of Indonesia's most influential Islamic groups is urging the government to cancel the Miss World pageant scheduled for next month, saying the exposure of skin by women in a competition violates Muslim teachings, an official said Monday.

A top-level meeting of clerics was held earlier this month by the Indonesian Ulema Council to respond to protests from some groups over Indonesia's hosting of the event, even after organizers agreed to cut the bikini competition and instead outfit contestants in more conservative sarongs, council chairman Amidan Shaberah said.

"Our position is clear, we reject Indonesia being the host of Miss World," Shaberah said. "Because exposing their bodies in a contest is against Islamic teachings."

The council is an influential Islamic body that often issues fatwas, or edicts, including controversial rulings against smoking and yoga. Though not legally binding, many devoted Muslims follow such decrees because ignoring them is considered a sin.

Shaberah said the council will not officially demand that the government cancel the event, but will instead recommend that it be stopped. The pageant is scheduled to be held partly on the resort island of Bali, with the final round on Sept. 28 near the capital, Jakarta.

"We are not Sharia police, we are not law enforcers," Shaberah said, referring to authorities who enforce Islamic law. "But we suggest the government cancel it."

Adjie S. Soeratmadjie of RCTI, the official broadcaster and local organizer of the event, said the concerns were being heard and that some adjustments were being made to make the pageant more appropriate for Indonesian culture and more like other beauty contests held in the country.

"We understand the position" of the council, Soeratmadjie said. "But the show must go on ... we call on the protesters to avoid anarchy and we are sure authorities can maintain security."

He added that Miss Israel had dropped out of the competition, but declined to give the reason. Indonesia and Israel do not have diplomatic relations.

Last week, the hard-line Islamic Defenders Front pledged to stage protests across the country to prevent Indonesia from hosting the competition.

"The Miss World pageant is only an excuse to exhibit women's body parts," said its leader, Riziek Shihab. "We are obliged to disband it if the government allows it to be held in any region of Indonesia."

The front has a long record of vandalizing nightspots, hurling stones at Western embassies and attacking rival religious groups. Lady Gaga was forced to cancel her sold-out Indonesia show last year after threats from the group, which branded her a "devil worshipper."

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

The pageant began in the 1950s, and the first winner was crowned in a two-piece bathing suit.

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.

 

1
Text Only
Nation & World
  • news_malaysiaplanesearch.jpg Sub makes second dive to search for Malaysian plane

    As a robotic submarine dived into the ocean to look for lost Flight 370, angry Chinese relatives stormed out of a teleconference meeting Wednesday to protest the Malaysian government for not addressing them in person.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 3 APTOPIX Police Conver_Unde-1.jpg Feds: Boston bombing suspect not entitled to '11 murder file

    Federal prosecutors have told a judge they have no evidence that Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev knew about his brother's alleged role in a triple slaying in Waltham two years before the bombings.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Boston police safely blow up suspicious backpacks

    Survivors, first responders and relatives of those killed in the Boston Marathon bombing marked the anniversary Tuesday with tributes that combined sorrow over the loss of innocent victims with pride over the city's resilience in the face of a terror attack.

    April 16, 2014

  • 292 missing, 4 dead in South Korea ferry disaster

    A ferry carrying 459 people, mostly high school students on an overnight trip to a tourist island, sank off South Korea's southern coast on Wednesday, leaving nearly 300 people missing despite a frantic, hours-long rescue by dozens of ships and helicopters. At least four people were confirmed dead and 55 injured.

    April 16, 2014

  • GM sales eyed for impact of ignition switch recall

    As General Motors shows off its newest cars and trucks in New York this week, analysts are watching for signs that consumers are shying away from the ones sitting on dealer lots.

    April 15, 2014

  • Solemn tributes mark Boston Marathon bombing

    Survivors, first responders and family members of those killed in the Boston Marathon bombing marked the anniversary Tuesday with tributes that combined sorrow over the loss of innocent victims with pride over Boston's resilience in the face of a terror attack.

    April 15, 2014

  • First women move to Army platoon artillery jobs

     Under a canopy of trees on the edge of a large field, soldiers from Bravo Battery are lying in a circle as they pore over targeting charts. Nearby, others are preparing the howitzer cannons as helicopters swoop overhead. At the edge of the circle, the platoon leader watches as the field artillerymen go through their training exercise.

    April 15, 2014

  • Russia tests Obama's ability to stop its advances

     With the White House asserting that Russia is stoking instability in eastern Ukraine, President Barack Obama is once again faced with the complicated reality of following through on his tough warnings against overseas provocations.

    April 15, 2014

  • Malaysia jet search area too deep for submarine

    The search area for the missing Malaysian jet has proved too deep for a robotic submarine which was hauled back to the surface of the Indian Ocean less than half way through its first seabed hunt for wreckage and the all-important black boxes, authorities said on Tuesday.

    April 14, 2014

  • Rocket leak delays space station delivery launch

    A space station cargo ship will remain Earthbound for a while longer because of a rocket leak.

    April 14, 2014

More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Helium