Muslims in Indonesia, apparently greatly displeased with the Miss World pageant being held there, have launched an alternate event entitled “Muslimah World”.
“Muslimah World is a beauty pageant, but the requirements are very different from Miss World — you have to be pious, be a positive role model and show how you balance a life of spirituality in today’s modernized world,” Muslimah World pageant founder Eka Shanti tells AFP.
According to Al Arabiya, choosing the 20 finalists from 500 applicants included “competitors reciting the Quran and sharing anecdotes of how they can to wear the headscarf, which is a requirement of the show.”
“The finalists, from Iran, Malaysia, Brunei, Bangladesh, Nigeria and Indonesia, will parade Islamic fashions in what Shanti says is an opportunity to show young Muslim women they do not need to show their ‘immodest’ parts — including their hair and bare shoulders — to be beautiful,” writes AFP.
“We don’t just want to shout ‘no’ to Miss World. 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?” Shanti says.
Because of the backlash from these same people the Miss World competition has already agree to drop the bikini portion of their event (probably losing 90% of the viewers in one move) but Muslims are still not happy and apparently think that head scarf tying and Quranic recitations are going to be a big ratings pull or a way to convince their teenage girls that hijabs are just so much hotter than bare shoulders.
I feel like this is going to backfire some how.
It’s not like there are a lot of great reasons to watch a beauty competition (whoops, sorry, I meant “scholarship program”) and I guarantee even the Muslim viewers (especially considering the most popular porn searches in Muslim countries) weren’t tuning in for the discussions of world peace.
I admit that a fair few of these women are extremely accomplished (like Erika Harold). You don’t enter these competitions on looks alone, no matter what anyone says, but you also don’t win them based solely on your smarts. These competitions are less about your morals than they are about how you look in a bikini and, Muslim or not, human nature doesn’t change. Muslims are just as prurient as anyone else, they just suppress it more actively (and look what that gets them) and they, like the rest of the world, don’t really want to watch a bunch of women practice tying headscarves and reciting passages from the Quran.
Hopefully the only bomb Indonesia experiences because of this will be the ratings bomb.