Indonesian Muslims furious at the country’s hosting of the Miss World beauty pageant, shall host a rival contest this week, albeit with more Islamic values.
The ‘Muslimah World’ contest is “Islam’s answer to Miss World”, the event’s founder Eka Shanti told news wire AFP. The pageant is due to be held on Wednesday in the capital Jakarta and is in response to the nation of 260m Muslims staging the world-renowned Miss World event, sparking protests in the country.
"Muslimah World is a beauty pageant but the requirements are very different from Miss World," Shanti explained. "You have to be pious, be a positive role model and show how you balance a life of spirituality in today's modernised world."
More than 20 finalists have already been chosen from 500 submissions, with contestants being judged on attributes including reciting verses from the Koran and telling stories about how they came to wear an Islamic headscarf.
Finalists come from countries including Iran, Malaysia, Indonesia, Nigeria and Brunei. Shanti said the point of the event was providing how women can be beautiful without exposing “immodest” parts of their body, such as shoulders and hair.
"We'd rather show our children they have choices - Do you want to be like the women in Miss World or like those in Muslimah World?" she said.
In response to demonstrations, organisers of the actual Miss World contest were forced to relocate it from Jakarta to Bali.