Following mounting criticism from conservative Muslim groups, Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo urged contestants of the upcoming Miss World pageant not to pose in bikinis.
“The event should be in line with Indonesian culture,” Joko told Indonesian news portal Detik.com on Wednesday. “I think the it will be better if they [contestants] do not wear bikini.”
The Sentul International Convention Center in Bogor, West Java, will host the Miss World 2013 pageant on Sept. 28. Conservative Muslim groups have been criticizing the event as disrespectful to Indonesian values.
The East Java branch of the Indonesian Council of Ulema (MUI) said that it would send a letter to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to demand that the beauty pageant be scrapped.
Abdusommad Bukhori, the provincial MUI chief, said that as a Muslim country, Indonesia should not have anything to do with such event.
In April, the West Java chapter of the clerical council, claimed that the pageant would “certainly hurt and sully Indonesia’s Muslim community.”
Mukri Aji, the West Java MUI chairman, said the beauty contest was just an excuse to flaunt body parts that should remain covered, adding that it was also impolite and against local religious norms.
The Bogor chapter of Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia, a hard-line Islamic group, also voiced its opposition to the pageant and called for it to be moved elsewhere.