Miss World Philippines 2013 candidates pose for photographers during a press presentation at the Solaire Resort and Casino in Paranaque city, metro Manila July 31, 2013.
A committee of Islamic clerics has demanded that next month's Miss World beauty pageant in Indonesia be cancelled, even though the event will not feature a bikini round.
According to an AFP report, the clerics argued that even though the bikini round has been cancelled, the contestants would still be wearing body hugging clothes and gowns which will expose parts of their bodies. Such exposure is against Muslim teaching, they said.
"Exposing women's bodies in public is 'haram', forbidden by Islamic teaching," senior MUI official Muhyiddin Junaidi told reporters in the capital Jakarta.
"Even though the bikini event is being axed, the contestants will still wear tight dresses and expose parts of their body," he added.
On Friday, the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) said that it is the joint decision of all top-level clerics not to have the pageant in the country.
The event has been opposed by religious extremists in the Muslim-majority country. There also have been threats against the organisation of the event. The MUI has also urged citizens to boycott the pageant on television.
"The contest tries to trick people by saying that it's not only a physical beauty contest but also to show inner beauty," deputy MUI head, Amirsyah Tambunan said, according to AFP.
Junaidi said the MUI's decision not to have the pageant was final and that it was now up to the authorities to decide whether to proceed.
About 90% of Indonasia's 240 million population is Muslim. Though the country follows Islam and also tolerates different styles of dress by tourists, it has a history of cancelling events.
In 2012, pop singer Lady Gaga had to cancel a concert tour after protesters criticised her for being scantily clothed. They threatened to burned down the venue if the concerts went ahead.
Next month's Miss World pageant is expected to have more than 130 contestants and some rounds will take place on the resort island of Bali. The finals are to be conducted in Bogor, outside Jakarta.
In June, Miss World organisers confirmed that contestants for the 2013 pageant will not appear in bikinis. The contestants will wear more traditional sarongs to avoid upsetting their Indonesian hosts.
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