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Muslim hardliners get Miss World contest to cover up

| Saturday, June 8, 2013, 8:39 p.m.

The swimsuit may be a symbol of the beauty pageant, but don't expect to see one at the next Miss World contest.

The organizers announced last week that instead of bikinis, contestants this year will wear more modest attire to avoid offending the pageant's Muslim host, Indonesia.

The contest, which has 137 participants, is scheduled to take place in September on Bali.

The top Islamic council of Indonesia, which is 86 percent Muslim, had called for the Miss World pageant to be cancelled.

To mollify the hardliners, organizers decided that the contestants will not wear bikinis during the “beach fashion” round.

“I don't want to upset or get anyone in a situation where we are being disrespectful,” said Julia Morley, Miss World chair.

Most Muslims in Indonesia are moderate, but an extremist fringe has become more vocal in recent years.

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