“Miss World Go To Hell” [Updated]

The Miss World pageant is being held in Bali, Indonesia, this year. In deference to anticipated protests by Muslim extremists, the pageant’s organizers announced some time ago that there would be no swimsuit competition. Instead, they substituted a sarong round. In my view, such pre-emptive capitulation is a terrible precedent, so I am not covering this year’s Miss World contest.

Still, the latest news is worth noting:

Indonesian Muslim hard-liners staged a protest Tuesday in the country’s capital to try to stop the holding of the Miss World pageant this weekend on the resort island of Bali.

More than 200 members of several Muslim hard-line groups organized by the Islamic Society Forum staged a rally and march on the MNC Tower, the building that houses the local organizer of the contest.

They held up banners with “Reject Miss World that exploits women” and “Go to hell Miss World” on them, and shouted “Allah akbar,” or God is great, outside the building, which was guarded by 300 police.

“This is an insult and humiliation of women,” Muhammad Al Khathath, an Islamic Society Forum leader, told the crowd. “Muslims should reject the Miss World contest,” he said.

When these people say "Go to Hell," they aren't speaking metaphorically

This one is nice, too. I am not sure what they are burning; swimsuits, maybe:

This photo is from the Jakarta Post:

The protesters say beauty pageants are un-Islamic. I don’t know, they may be right. That’s for them to decide. But it is disgraceful for the Miss World organizers to locate their event in a place where they believe it can’t be conducted normally; then try to appease Islamic militants; and finally suffer the worst of both worlds–not only do they have a lame pageant, but, despite their attempts at appeasement, the protests take place regardless.

UPDATE: Reader Peg Kaplan points out that if it isn’t bikinis, it’s bridge. Backwardness, across the board.

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