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KEYWORDS: Bali, Miss World contest, Miss World DESCRIPTION: The Foreign Office has warned travellers that extremist groups may be planning attacks to disrupt this year’s Miss World contest in Indonesia. AUTHOR: TITLE: Bali: Miss World contest may spark attacks

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Bali: Miss World contest may spark attacks

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 The Foreign Office has warned travellers that extremist groups may be planning attacks to disrupt this year’s Miss World contest in Indonesia.

The early rounds of the beauty contest were met with no opposition when they began on September 8 in Bali, a Hindu-majority island popular with Western tourists.
In neighbouring Java however, where the majority of residents are Muslim, crowds of demonstrators took to the streets in the towns of Yogyakarta and Surabaya and burnt effigies of the organisers.
The final was originally meant to be held in Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital city on Java, but was moved at the last minute to Bali, where security has been ramped up.
The Foreign Office today updated its advice to warn that extremists may be planning attacks and possibly targeting hotels connected to the event, which continues until September 28.
It said: “Extremists may be planning attacks targeting the Miss World pageant being held in Bali, including possibly against hotels used by participants.
“In addition, local Islamist vigilante groups have threatened to hold large-scale demonstrations to disrupt the event.”
The vast majority of Muslims in Indonesia are moderate, but hard-line Islamic groups have managed to get a number of events postponed or cancelled recently, most notably a Lady Gaga concert due to be held in Jakarta last year.
The swimsuit element of the Miss World contest was dropped this year, with the organisers instead deciding that contestants should wear traditional Indonesian sarongs, in keeping with local sensibilities.
A women's Muslim group, the World Muslimah Foundation, is holding an alternative contest in Jakarta, the World Muslimah Pageant, for which 20 modestly-dressed finalists have undergone workshops in fashion and beauty, as well as spiritual subjects such as Qur'an memorisation.
The Miss World contest has occasionally sparked controversy since it began in 1951 as part of the Festival of Britain. Its organisers are based in London.
Miss World scandals
1970 – Feminist protesters threw flour bombs during the live contest at London’s Royal Albert Hall. The host, Bob Hope, remarked: "Anyone who would try and break up an affair as wonderful as this has got to be on some kind of dope".
1976 – The contest was boycotted by several countries due to tensions in South Africa.
1980 – Winner Gabriella Brum, from Germany, was forced to resign a day after winning, after it was revealed she had posed naked for a magazine.
1996 – Protests over the hosting of the contest in Bangalore, India. The swimsuit section was moved to the Seychelles.
2011 - Contest held in Earls' Court, London. Up to 200 feminist protestors campaigned outside.
Source: telegraph.co.uk
 
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