Earlier, the organizers of the beauty contest agreed to replace the controversial ‘bikini round’ with a more conservative choice of beachwear – the sarong.
The decision was made following protests by Islamic groups in Indonesia. Despite that, women wearing hijabs have filled the streets of Jakarta to cancel the event because it is against Islamic beliefs.
In defiance to the mainstream beauty contest which is being held in Bali, a group of people have launched a beauty pageant in accordance to Islamic beliefs, reported Al Arabiya news. According to Eka Shanti, the founder of Muslimah World, the contest is Islam’s answer to Miss World. The Islamic beauty contest, which is to be held on Wednesday in Jakarta, will judge contestants based on smartness, style, and good morals.
The criteria for participating are also very different from the typical beauty contest. Contestants have to be pious and will be required to recite the Quran. The contestants will wear fashionable clothes in accordance to Islamic guidelines, so very little skin will be in display unlike the Miss World contest. Out of over 500 aspirants who applied for the contest, 20 finalists were chosen. A majority of the contestants come from Muslim countries including Bangladesh, Brunei Iran, and Malaysia.
According to Shanti, Muslimah World intends to show how women can balance a life of spirituality in today’s world. She added that she did not back the protests to cancel the Miss World contest. “We’d rather show our children they have choices.” said Shanti.