This year’s Miss World beauty pageant will not be featuring a bikini contest. Because the pageant is being held in Indonesia, the 137 contestants will leave their swimwear at home in order to respect the customs in the Muslim-majority country.
“I don’t want to upset or get anyone in a situation where we are being disrespectful,” said Miss World Organization chairwoman, Julia Morley. "Indonesia is designing for us a very beautiful one-piece beachwear, and I'm very happy with them."
Instead of wearing bikinis, the contestants will be required to wear Bali's traditional long sarongs.
"I don't think Indonesia is the only country that has that culture," Morley said. "But we like to work in the manner respectful to every country, and I cannot see why when you go to somebody's country you should not behave respectfully."
Despite the announcement, some Indonesians still do not want the contest to go on, The New York Daily News reported.
Members of the Indonesian Council of Ulema, or MUI, are planning to send a letter to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to demand the beauty pageant be canceled.
"That contest is just an excuse to show women's body parts that should remain covered," said Mukri Aji from West Java province's MUI branch. "It's against Islamic teachings."
In May, Lady Gaga was forced to cancel a sold-out concert in Indonesia after Islam extremists called her a "devil worshipper" and made threats.