Miss World opens in Indonesia after protests

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10:50 PM September 8th, 2013

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September 8th, 2013 10:50 PM

Contestants of Miss World pageant, from left to right, Vania Larissa of Indonesia, Denise Valerie Ayena of Cameroon, Erin Holland of Australia, Gina Hargitay of Jamaica, Karen Ghraoui of Lebanon, Megan Young of Philippines, Nadyalee Torres of Puerto Rico, unidentified, Miss World 2012 Yu Wenxia, Elena Ibarbia Jimenez of Spain and Jacqueline Steenbeek of the Netherland pose together during a press conference at Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013. The Miss World contest will start at the island of Bali Sunday. AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati

BALI — The 63rd edition of the Miss World pageant has opened after protests by Muslim hard-liners confined the event to Indonesia’s predominantly Hindu resort island of Bali.

The opening ceremony Sunday night, which was televised to 186 countries, featured Bali’s Kecak Dance and a parade of all 131 contestants.

Indonesia’s government moved the final round of the event, initially set for September 28 outside Jakarta, the capital, to Bali following protests by hard-line Muslims in Jakarta and other cities.

Rejection of the event has also come from the country’s most influential clerics’ group, the Indonesia Ulema Council.

Those opposed to the pageant argue that exposure of skin by women in such a competition violates Islamic teachings.

Bali is the only Hindu-dominated province in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country.

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