On Thursday, Islamic hardliners promised to stop the Miss World pageant that they called immoral. This came even after organizers of the pageant said contestants in the pageant this year would not use bikinis.
The group Hizb ut-Tahrir spoke harshly of the pageant saying it was selling the bodies of contestants and threatened demonstrations. Strong opposition was also voiced by another group located in the province where the pageant’s final will take place.
In all over 130 women are scheduled to compete in the event to be held in September. Some of the pageant will take place in Bali and the final will be held outside Jakarta in Bogor, which is in the province of West Java. Parts of that province are considered by many to be strongholds for radical groups.
On Wednesday, organizers of the pageant confirmed bikinis would not be used by contestants in the section devoted to beach fashion, which is scheduled to take place in Bali. Instead contestants will wear attire that is more conservative like the area’s traditional sarongs.
Nevertheless, that concession was still not enough for the hard line groups in the region, were nearly 90% of the population of close to 240 million are Muslim.
A spokesperson for the group Hizb ut-Tahrir, Ismail Yusanto said supporting the pageant equaled supporting the selling of female bodies.
He continued by saying that women lowered themselves by allowing others to turn them into just objects for people to stare at and measure.
Other groups including the Islam Reformist Movement and the Islamic Defenders Front said the ban on bikinis was not sufficient enough.