As reported previously on Balidiscovery,com [Bali: The No-Bikini Atoll?] , some religiously conservative circles in Indonesia are upset with the prospect that the Miss World Beauty Contest to be held in Bali and West Java in September 2013 will include a swimsuit competition.
In an effort to accommodate these sensitivities, the organizer is modifying the contest by ditching bikinis for more modest one-piece swimming suits, possibly worn with an accompanying sarong.
The Jakarta Globe reports that Island hard-liners are now calling for nothing less than the outright cancellation of the event that they see as immoral.
Accusing the contest of “selling women’s bodies” the Hizb ut-Tahrir Group is vowing to hold demonstrations against the contest.
Hard liners holding such protests in Bogor, West Java, where part of the contest will be held, might find local community support for their protest, similar protests in Bali might get a less sympathetic e reaction from the Balinese who could see the protests as religious bigotry aimed at disrupting Balinese culture and its world-famous tourism industry.
Hard-line Islamist groups seemingly find any public celebration of female beauty as offensive and immoral and are saying they will settle for nothing less than the cancellation of the event. The Islamic Reformist Movement (Garis), which is affiliated with the notorious Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) who have been involved in a number of violent street protests in the past, says a ban on bikinis is insufficient.
Chep Hernawan, the head of Garis in West Java, said, “They will still wear outfits that will encourage sex and immoral acts.”
Protests and resulting fears of attacks and public unrest saw a planned concert by Lady Gaga cancelled in 2012.
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