No Bikinis at Miss World 2013 Pageant in Indonesia

There will be no bikinis at the Miss World pageant this Saturday. And while many prospective spectators will be disappointed on Saturday, the Miss World organizers welcome the decision to move from bikinis to sarongs this year.

Miss Guyana Ruqayyah Boyer, a Muslim, also welcomes the decision.

On Saturday, the Miss World 2013 pageant will televise its finale from Indonesia. But the threat of Islamic extremism looms over the event.

READ: The Politics Behind the Miss America Pageant (ILLUME)

Indonesia is a predominately Muslim country, although it does house smaller pockets of Hindus and Christians, as well. Many Islamic groups in Indonesia expressed concern over the pageant, claiming that the pageant was an affront to Islamic ideals. But going from bikinis to sarongs wasn’t enough for the opponents, with the Islamic Defenders Front and several mainstream Islamic groups calling for a nationwide ban on the Miss World competition.

In response, the Indonesian government had the finale moved from Jakarta to Bali, which is largely Hindu dominated.

Interestingly, there are some Muslim contestants this year. Ruqayyah Boyer  from Guyana identifies as a practicing Muslim.

Like Indonesia, Guyana has a diverse blend of Christians, Hindus and Muslims.

"On Eid ul Adha," Boyer says, "Christians, too, now look forward to receiving their share in beef."

Boyer also welcomes the Miss World Organization's decision to use sarongs in the swimsuit competition this year.

"In my view, Miss World Pageant is about embracing and experiencing various cultures therefore I am comfortable with the decision the organization made to not only respect but to embrace the norms of the a country like Indonesia that is filled with such a rich cultural history."

Miss World CEO Julia Morley expressed similar sentiments.

"It was my suggestion to do this," Morley told ILLUME, regarding the choice to replace bikinis with sarongs.

The Miss World 2013 competition airs on Saturday, September 28.

 



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