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Islamic organization opposes Miss Aceh pageant

Jakarta Globe - May 13, 2011

Islamic students organization Rabithah Thaliban Aceh (RTA) has opposed plans to hold a Miss Aceh pageant as part of the 2011 Aceh Fair at Blang Padang in Banda Aceh.

According to the fair's official Web site, the 2011 Aceh Fair will be held from May 8 to 15, with the Miss Aceh pageant held on Friday.

"We have received information about an upcoming Miss Aceh contest, and RTA strongly oppose the event to be held in Aceh," the organization's chairman Hasbi Al Bayuny told state news agency Antara. Hasbi asked the fair committee to cancel the contest because it was against Shariah.

"Whatever it is, the event is not in accordance with Sharia because Islam forbids women from displaying their bodies in public," he said. "If its purpose is to improve tourism, there are many other Islamic activities to attract people to visit Aceh," Hasbi said.

According to the Web site, the auditions for the Miss Aceh pageant will start at 12 p.m. It is open to women between the ages of 18 and 22 with good proficiency in Acehnese language. The winner, who will be an ambassador to promote the province, will be announced on Friday evening. (Antara, JG)