Govt not divided over Miss World beauty contest: Religious minister

Jakarta (ANTARA News) – Religious Affairs Minister Suryadharma Ali denied that the government has been divided over the holding of Miss World beauty pageant in Indonesia.

He said on Tuesday that no common perception has been reached among the ministries on this issue.

The MUI has issued a religious edict against the holding of the contest in the country.

“Our reference remains the MUI edict,” he said.

He said the ministry of religious affairs has no authority to ban or allow it because other stakeholders also have an authority over it.

When asked to confirm that the government`s stance has been divided the minister said that it has not gone thus far.

Suryadharma who is also the general chairman of the United Development Party, which is an Islam-based party, reiterated that the problem was that there had not been coordination among the ministries with regard to the issue.

He said however that the organizer should pay attention to the MUI`s edict.

The MUI has been strongly against the holding of the beuaty pageant in the country because it is against Islamic teachings that oblige Muslim women to cover their body.

The minister said that the beauty contest is not only against Islamic teachings but also the values it carries are against the country`s cultural values.

“I hope there will be no controversy among us. We need peace,” he said.

The contest is scheduled to held on September 8 in Bali.


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